Italy went dark this week as a blackout struck nearly the entire country. Rome happened to be celebrating an all-night festival called White Night, so museums and shops were open and packed with people when the lights went out around 3:30 a.m. Thousands were stranded in the subways. Lights returned to the northern part of the country after seven hours, but the south had no power for nearly 24 hours. Only the tiny Italian island of Sardinia, which produces its own energy, stayed plugged in. Energy officials blamed a tree that fell on a power line in Switzerland and caused a domino effect of overloads and shutdowns—not unlike the blackout that hit North America in August.
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