Local June 25, 2023 | 8:00 am

Citizens sleep in vehicles due to blackouts; this practice can be deadly

The hot night in the early hours of Friday, June 23, was especially difficult in several sectors of Greater Santo Domingo due to the series of power outages.

In the LP9 residential area of the Alameda Oeste sector, Santo Domingo Oeste, two neighbors went down from their apartments to their vehicles to sleep inside them because of the blackout between 2:30 and 4:00 am. According to the Google weather app, the temperature was 24 degrees Celsius, with a wind chill of 29 degrees.

Sleeping or staying overnight inside an idling vehicle can cost you your life. Increased CO levels are highly toxic and poisonous because it compromises the amount of oxygen reaching the blood. If the person is awake, they will feel a lack of oxygen; however, if they are asleep, they will not necessarily notice it.

It is recalled that in the Dominican Republic, there have been cases in which people have inhaled carbon monoxide emitted by the vehicle they were in and died.

Other affected sectors
In the Don Honorio sector of the National District, the blackout occurred between 12:00 and 2:30 in the morning.

The same happened in the Colinas de los Rios sector blackouts prevented sleep for a couple of hours.

Edesur issued a tweet on Thursday night, arguing that due to “a historic increase in electricity demand in recent days, and especially at night, as a result of the heat, there has been a momentary overload of the power transformer at the Edesur substation at KM. 10 and a half of the Duarte highway.”

This overdemand impacted more than 35 neighborhoods in Santo Domingo Oeste and the northwest area of the National District.

However, last night blackouts were also reported in La Zurza, from 11:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon.

In the Genoveva sector, Villa Mella, there had been no power since yesterday, at 11:00 at night, and at 6:00 this morning, the power had not been restored. In Villa Mella, there have been protests on several occasions this week due to power outages.

While in El Seibo, the outages have been going on for more than 12 hours. The power went out at 5:00 in the afternoon, and they woke up without electricity this Friday.

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Paul Tierney
June 25, 2023 9:25 am

When people are so uncomfortable because of the heat they will gravitate towards what will provide them relief. This will happen whether or not they know of the CO risks involved when they are sleeping in a car with ac.

Oliver Schreiber
June 26, 2023 2:45 pm

Sorry but I do not agree with some of the content of the article. The author does not seem to understand how a modern car air conditioner works. Most have 2 modes of use, the recirculation mode of the air in the cabin, or the fresh air mode that cools air that comes from the outside. If you use the latter mode there is no way that you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning. During long journeys, it is recommended to switch to the fresh air mode once in a while to let fresh air in, you find that info in the manual of your car. Unfortunately, in a country where many people do not understand the correct usage of high beam and low beam or fog lights, the functioning of an aircon is probably also little understood.
Whether it is good for the environment to let your car engine idle for hours, is a different subject. 

Last edited 10 months ago by Oliver Schreiber