View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tuesday 24 July

A windy day but bright and with good spells of sunshine. We once again managed to reach the dizzy heights of 17C / 63F. The powercut brought some minor inconvenience to the shops in this town; the tills were not working, and the bank had to take even longer to reopen once power supplies were restored. It took an hour for people in Ness and Harris to come back on supply. The cause for the powercut is not clear.

Eight people have been charged in connection with alleged conspiracy to intercept communications, in other words phone and other forms of hacking. All have vehemently protested their innocence, something which will be down to a court to decide. The whole saga has opened a cesspit of dirty dealings between the press, police and politicians. Whether things will change depends on the outcome of the Leveson inquiry, which is moving towards a conclusion in terms of the first tranche of hearings.


Oops, that was the power off at 2.45pm. Which, in the house, is naturally an inconvenience. Nothing works, no internet, no appliances. And, at night, no lights. But this is mid afternoon in July, it's a bright day, so no real problem. And after 15 minutes, the power did come back on. However, in the town centre, all the shops shut their doors to customers, as they could not operate their tills. The outlying districts took longer to come back on supply, but the power company reported on Twitter that everybody should have their electric back. Meanwhile, the powerstation at Battery Point (a few hundred yards from my position) is belching out smoke, providing a back-up. Don't know what brought this all on, but the fact that I am able to put this entry on the WWW means that everything is back to normal. In my usual daily blogpost, which I shall put up this evening, I will relay experiences of people who were actually in the shops when the power went off.

Hurricane update - 24 July

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has issued the final warning on typhoon Vicente, as it moves overland, still packing winds of 100 knots (115 mph) near its centre. At the height of its power, the typhoon presented this image on the radar at Hong Kong, not much more than about 60 miles away. As Jeff Masters writes in his blog on the storm, Vicente presented a nightmare scenario, intensifying from 75 knots (cat I) to 120 knots (cat IV) in the space of a mere 6 hours. A direct hit on Hong Kong or Macao would have claimed many lives; a comparable scenario on the US coastline would exact a similar toll, as there was no time to evacuate.