Alexa

NIreland water crisis could last until next week

 People queue with empty bottles to collect water, as tens of thousands of homes and businesses are affected by severe water shortages caused by broke...
 Members of the fire service fill tanks with water as people queue with empty bottles to collect water, as tens of thousands of homes and businesses a...

Britain Northern Ireland Water Crisis

People queue with empty bottles to collect water, as tens of thousands of homes and businesses are affected by severe water shortages caused by broke...

Britain Northern Ireland Water Crisis

Members of the fire service fill tanks with water as people queue with empty bottles to collect water, as tens of thousands of homes and businesses a...

Northern Irish ministers slammed a company that left thousands without water for failing the people, as the firm said it could be early next week before all supply is restored to homes and businesses.
About 6,000 homes have had no running water at all since Monday, Northern Ireland Water said, and the company is curtailing water supply to up to 60,000 customers to conserve supplies as engineers struggled to repair pipes that burst after the recent cold spell's sudden thaw.
First Minister Peter Robinson said "someone had to be held accountable" for the water crisis, but stopped short of naming anyone.
"We are not satisfied with the performance and are absolutely determined that it will not be repeated," he said after ministers called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. "It has been shambolic at stages, it has been ineffective, it has not been the kind of organization that has been fit for purpose."
While the situation improved in Belfast, the capital, overnight, Northern Ireland Water said reconnecting rural areas to supply will take longer.
The thaw followed record cold temperatures and the worst snowfall in Northern Ireland in two decades. Pipes burst as temperatures rose, draining reservoirs and forcing the water supplier to turn off the tap in multiple locations.
Long lines formed Thursday at emergency water points, and Scotland trucked in thousands of liters of bottled water for distribution to help families. Some local councils offered free showers to people without a mains supply.
Phillip Dempster, 31, said his water service has been interrupted since just after Christmas.
"It is just terrible, having to queue for water," he said while waiting for emergency supplies in east Belfast. "It just should not happen."
The company's chief executive accepted full responsibility Thursday for the crisis but defended his leadership amid calls for his ouster.
"My prime concern at the minute is to get through this situation and get it resolved," Laurence MacKenzie told reporters. "I believe I'm doing the best I can."
Government ministers will discuss the possibility of bringing in more water tankers as reservoir levels remained low.
Northern Ireland Water is putting 40 percent more water into the system than normally, said engineering director Trevor Haslett, but much of that is being negated by continuing leakages.


Updated : 2020-12-03 13:15 GMT+08:00