Alexey, please, tell us about what is going on in New Delhi.
Yesterday morning I left for the Indira Gandhi International Airport to catch a regular Air India flight from New Delhi to Chennai. However, to my surprise, the trip to the airport took almost an hour and a half instead of the usual 30 minutes. For some unknown reason, India’s capital New Delhi was at a standstill in one big traffic jam.
When I attempted to buy a ticket for the next flight operated by another local airline that was to depart from another airport located nearby, the airport official at the ticket booth tried to talk me out of it: “Don't buy that ticket. There is only one hour left before that flight, since most likely you will miss it as well. The roads are blocked, the city is paralyzed, and your ticket will be lost without any reimbursement.”
As a result my trip to the city of Chennai located in South India was moved to an evening flight. The roads in the city cleared up.
In reality, something awful was happening with the roads. I've never seen the city so paralyzed by such a big traffic jam without any visible cause. Usually there is a traffic jam in the capital due to the summer tropical rain, but there was no rain. There was no snow either, since it never snows in Delhi.
Alexey, please tell us what other dangers the Indians are facing now? Is the Internet working, or the landline telephones? Are there any problems with water supply? And in general, does the population panic?
I am in southern India right now, in Chennai. There has been no power outage here. In Delhi, on the embassy compound everything worked fine last night. Apparently, the power supply was done with the help of an additional power generator. The thing is that in Delhi an occasional power outage is an ordinary event, they occur almost daily.
I personally have not experienced any water supply problems in Delhi.
There was no panic on the roads yesterday, that's for sure. I must say that Indians are not prone to panic. They take everything in a laid-back manner, philosophically, I would say.
India suffers massive blackout
About 600 million people in India, including in New Delhi, have been left without electricity following a series of breakdowns that affected the eastern, northern and northeastern parts of the country, in all 13 provinces.
The authorities blame the blackout on cascade power disruptions, the first of which occurred on Monday when a breakdown near the city of Agra in the north shut off electricity to some 300 million people. It took hours to restore supply.
The last time India was hit by outages of such massive proportions was in 1991.