Electric production has diminished by 30 percent due to low levels at hydroelectric dams. To save energy, the government has proceeded to close all the public and private elementary, secondary schools and universities in the country through Friday, May 10. Public offices are on a shortened schedule of 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
In addition bars, restaurants, discotheques, cinemas, casinos, supermarkets and other establishment have been ordered to close by 10:00 p.m. through today, Thursday, May 9. Companies have been ordered to turn off their illuminated signs at night. As The Visitor goes to press there has been no notice of measures to be taken next week.
President Ricardo Martinelli encouraged the private sector to cooperate with the energy saving measures by requesting then not to use air conditioners between 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The measures are being taken to avoid programmed blackouts. Around 60% of the electricity in Panama is produced by hydroelectric plants.