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Blackout in the Vatican, roads blocked in Rome: this is what happened

According to several reports on social media, the Vatican, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy is facing a power outage.

Initially, news of the power outage at the Vatican was reported after a live stream was spotted on a Vatican News YouTube channel. The Vatican News is a verified YouTube channel that publishes news and coverage about the Pope and the holy city.

Officially, there is no confirmation of what caused the Vatican City power outage. Some reports on social media cite a technical blackout while several users cite a conspiracy theory that reads: “The Vatican is down after an affidavit was leaked about Italians’ involvement in US election interference. “

However, Vatican City is not the only place that has reportedly been hit by a power outage. Earlier today, the whole country of Pakistan, including its largest cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, faced total darkness after the country’s power plant of Guddu developed an outage. The fault caused the triggering of the country’s high transmission lines.

YouTube Livestream of Vatican blackout

Discussions and reports on social networks

A user on Twitter wrote, “Very unusual blackout lasting several hours in major cities in Pakistan as well as in the Vatican in Rome, Italy.”

An user tweeted“So the whole country of Pakistan is out of power. The Vatican is out of power. I have read – I have not confirmed – that Pakistan is in cahoots with Italy over electoral interference. If this is true, it seems to me that something of a military nature is underfoot.

“Tonight there was a power outage in the Vatican and another in Pakistan. Something weird is happening ” said another user on Twitter.

Reddit also has a discussion of the power outage – here.

UPDATE 1

UPDATE 1:00 AM EST: After reports of power outages at the Vatican, Rome now faces several roadblocks. Here are the images (screenshot from Apple Maps) showing roadblocks in the Italian capital.

UPDATE 2

UPDATE 1:20 EST: The lights are back on at the Vatican after a reported power outage.

Now there are conflicting reports about the power outage, according to one report all lights were on and stayed on through the night, the outage was observed because the automatic live camera exposure went off focused on the streetlights and dimmed the recorded image.

UPDATE 3

UPDATE 11:55 a.m. EST: The Catholic Traveler, who resides in the Vatican, posted a blog post about the recent Vatican power outage incident, here’s what happened according to The Catholic Traveler:

This morning, I woke up to hundreds of messages from people asking me if I was okay because they had heard that there was a massive blackout in the Vatican.

First of all, thank you all for your concern.

Second, there was no massive blackout in the Vatican.

I received so many links to videos and articles about how a huge attack was going on. There was a shooting. The Vatican was surrounded by military and police. And the Pope was arrested and held in an Italian prison while awaiting the arrival of the FBI.

Now, I love a good conspiracy as much as everyone else. You may remember when I posted the video of rising smoke on the Vatican. This video was shown on TV news around the world. It was actually a fire at a nearby tire store. I’m in Snopes now thanks to that one.

But a shootout in the Vatican and the pope detained by the FBI .. what?

I looked out my window (I can see the Vatican from my apartment) the lights were on. No shootings. No police. Cars came and went as usual on an early Sunday morning in winter.

The video many sent me was from the live stream from the Vatican YouTube page.

As you can see, the camera exposure seems to be very low – something that often happens on live-feed, by the way, when there is lightning and sometimes even in the rain. Either way, you can see the lights are really on. You can see the dome, you can see the colonnade lights, you can see office / apartment lights, you can see the nativity lights, you can see the star of the Christmas tree.

You will notice that a vehicle enters the shot. Some said it was an ambulance for the shooting. But longtime Instagram followers will know that this is actually my nemesis, the street sweeper.

I will also add that sometimes the lights go out. I saw the dome lights go out. I saw the front lights go out. I saw a lit colonnade and the other dark. I was inside the basilica when the lights went out. These things happen. It is not common, but it does happen. It never meant that the Pope was arrested or, something other people keep telling me about, that the Pope shifted all US election votes from Trump to Biden.

Vatican lights
The lights of the dome and the left colonnade went out a few years ago

Several conspiracy experts also sent me screenshots of roadblocks around Rome. To which I replied that we are still in lockdown. Not as severe as before, but we still have restrictions on where we can and cannot travel. So, yes, roadblocks and police checks are underway. This is especially true on weekends when we have even more restrictions than during the week.

And finally, these signs were not placed overnight to alert people of a disaster, they have been here for years and display the opening hours of the basilica, organize papal events for people to watch on the square and currently speak of a small nativity museums in the colonnade.

vatican signs digital sign message

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