Spain’s Cebu province on the eastern tip of Luzon island is experiencing a rolling blackout that’s been going on for more than a week. Thousands of frail people are stranded without food, water, or medical supplies. The phenomenon is called a deluge and is brought on by a weather phenomenon called storm surge. The area has a chronically-low capacity for renewable energy, which may provide some explanation for the failures. Local media reports a nearby hydroelectric plant that was already scheduled to be shut down on Monday will cease operating instead.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez attended an emergency meeting on the most recent storm surge that had caused “extreme problems for the most vulnerable people,” his office said. Protesters in the province, though, say local politicians are standing by in hope that the latest deluge passes and that they’re criticizing the government’s response in keeping with a “sense of shame.”

The ongoing social media messages of disbelief have mocked the situation. “It’s that season again: showers and winds,” reads one. “Winter comes again,” reads another. “Love storms,” is another. “We’ve had the deluge,” people wrote.

For generations the region of Luzon has earned a reputation for being “sunny,” which those who live and work in Cebu may now be questioning.


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