For political and economic reasons, countries like Venezuela and Lebanon have suffered frequent interruptions in electricity supply. Due to the most varied causes, any country can be left in the dark. In Portugal, an anonymous and electrocuted stork was famous for causing, in 2000, one of the biggest blackouts in history. The bird’s collision with a high voltage line in the municipality of Figueira da Foz left the center and south of the country in darkness for more than two hours.

The Austrian government is concerned about the issue and has started a campaign to raise awareness among citizens so that they are prepared for the “immediate threat” of running out of energy at home for hours or days. The director of Portugal’s National Security Office de-dramatizes the scenario of standing by candlelight: “Nothing is 100 percent safe, but neither are we necessarily always on the brink of catastrophe.”

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