Published: Sun, June 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Argentina and Uruguay Scramble to Restore Power Following Mass Blackout

Argentina and Uruguay Scramble to Restore Power Following Mass Blackout

Just before 7 a.m. local time Sunday, energy company Edesur said in a tweet that a "massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left Argentina and Uruguay wihtout power".

A huge power failure cut off electricity in Argentina and Uruguay on Sunday morning, according to media reports and a regional utility.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total almost 55 million, said power was being restored to major cities, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires after being without power for at least five hours.

Power company Edesur Argentina said 500,000 of its 2.5 million clients had recovered service.

Argentina's Energy Secretariat said in a statement mid-morning on Sunday that it expected power to be restored in several hours.

Roughly 48 million people live in Argentina and Uruguay.

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In Paraguay, the capital of Asuncion was unaffected by the outage but local providers said they were restoring power to smaller cities and rural areas.

The Argentinian news site Infobae reported that the power cut stopped trains and subway service; however, two airports in Buenos Aires continued to run on generators.

"Never has anything like this happened before", Alejandra Martinez, a spokesperson for Edesur told Infobae.

The outage hit on a day of provincial elections in parts of Argentina. He said the cause of the massive outage was unknown at the time, while reports suggested it was due to a grid failure. The effects on various elements of Argentinian and Uruguayan infrastructure - such as healthcare - remain to be seen.

People have reported blackouts in several regions.

"Never in my life have I seen such a very big power cut", another user wrote.

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