"Millennium bug disasters may lurk abroad"

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Irish holiday makers have just been warned ...

MILLENNIUM BUG DISASTERS MAY LURK ABROAD: Cancelled flights, telecommunications failures, disruption to medical services - such may be the dubious delights awaiting holiday makers over the millennium. And the warnings come from the Department of Foreign Affairs (in Ireland).

Its Doomsday list of possible holiday disasters says essential services such as transport, telecommunications, financial, medical, police, electricity or water supply services may break down in some countries affected by the "millennium bug" - "at least temporarily", it adds. "Irish citizens planning to be abroad in the first week or so of January 2000 should be aware of the possibility of disruption," it says, "and should consider making contingency plans to cope with the difficulties which would ensue." Under "Air, Sea and Land Transport", we are told bookings may be unconfirmed, scheduled services may be varied or cancelled, customs and immigration facilities may be delayed. The Department advises: "Items to which ready access is necessary should not be left in luggage, which is liable to be delayed." You may have to forget trying to phone home, as "systems may be disrupted or fail". And you better have plenty of spare cash on you because, of course, it's entirely possible that "credit cards, automatic tellers machines or international banking transactions will not operate".

By this stage you're probably reasoning that it might be best simply not to venture outside your hotel/apartment/charming villa at all. Think you're going to be safe there? Oh no.

"The disruption of electricity, gas, water and sewerage services could affect heating or air conditioning . . . and in that way or otherwise affect people's health and welfare." If by now you have given up hope of your loved ones ever seeing quite the same person again, don't even think about getting medical attention. Naturally, the hospital services "could be under pressure if the failure of other public services were to cause significant local problems. (It would be prudent to bring necessary medication from Ireland.)"

The Irish Travel Agents' Association yesterday advised all intending passengers over the millennium period to ensure they had adequate insurance. Mr Brendan Moran, chief executive of the ITAA, however, said he had not been advised of any particular country causing concern and stressed that as far as he was concerned all air and sea travel would be "perfectly safe". Still, it all goes to show, there's no place like home.

(Irish Times)

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (uachtaran@ireland.com), December 07, 1999


Thanks Risteard.

We're all "abroad" to someone. I'm willing to bet that's the line every country takes: "If it wasn't for those pesky... (insert unpopular country) kids, we'd have got away with it."

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ