Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARGENTINA | 16-06-2019 14:50

Millions hit by 'historic' blackout in Argentina, Uruguay

The outage affecting up to 40 million people interrupts public transport and telecommunication services and cuts off water supplies. 

Most of Argentina and Uruguay went without electricity on Sunday after an unexplained failure in the countries' interconnected power system SADI.

The outage, which affected up to 40 million people, interrupted public transport and telecommunication services and cut off water supplies. 

The blackout began at around seven o'clock in the morning, just as voters began arriving to polling stations for provincial elections in four Argentine provinces. Voting occurred without major incidents or disruptions, provincial electoral authorities reported. 

"This morning we suffered a cut to electric energy across the country due to a failure in the transport system on the coast, and whose causes we have still not been able to determine. We are working to get power back as soon as possible", Argentina's President Mauricio Macri wrote on Twitter.

"This is an unprecedented case which will be thoroughly investigated", Macri added.

Edesur Argentina, one of Buenos Aires' two major energy companies, said the outage was "exceptional". By 4pm Sunday, 450,000 of its clients in Greater Buenos Aires had power, the firm reported.

By 2pm, around half of all homes in Argentina and three of Uruguay's regions had normal electricity supply, authorities reported. 

Argentines are somewhat accustomed to power outages, particularly in capital cities over the warm summer months when the grid often fails to keep up with high demand.

Sunday's blackout has been labelled "historic" given the simultaneous and widespread nature of the outage.

The last major outage of this kind was in 2002 when 13 millions users lost power.


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