Power outages play havoc in Venezuela

Lights of cars in one of the main streets of Caracas during an electrical blackout. March 9, 2019. REUTERS / Carlos Jasso

A new blackout affected much of Venezuela since the afternoon of Monday, March 25, almost 20 days after the other power outage that caused havoc and left the nation without water service for a week.

Caracas and at least 17 of the 23 states in Venezuela suffered the new failure, reported users who used the #SinLuz or # Blackout tag on social networks. Almost three hours after the failure, the service began to be gradually restored in the capital and in central regions.

However, on Monday night users on Twitter indicated that in areas of the Capital District, Nueva Esparta, Monagas, Falcon, Lara, Miranda, Barinas, Carabobo, Aragua, Anzoategui and Guárico continue without electric service for more than eight hours and continuing.

Jorge Rodríguez said it was “an attack on the cargo and transmission center” of the Guri hydroelectric plant (Bolívar state, south), which generates 80% of the energy consumed by this country of 30 million inhabitants.

But the president in charge Juan Guaidó assured that the cut was produced by an “overload in the system of substations”. “They lie to not assume their responsibility (…). They are putting at risk what little remains of the electrical infrastructure, “he said.

The blackout came 18 days after a massive court paralyzed the country for a week. The regime of Nicolás Maduro also attributed that crisis to “cyber attacks” led by the United States with support from the Venezuelan opposition.

“What cost us five or six days (recover) after that attack (…), today in a few hours has been solved,” said Rodriguez, celebrating the service is restored in “record time.”

The usual blackouts in Venezuela have an impact on hospital care, water supply and electronic banking, which are vital due to the shortage of cash caused by hyperinflation and the devaluation of the local currency.

“This is already too much (…). Meats, chickens, everything that is eaten is damaged, it is total loss, “complained Leo, 19, an employee of a restaurant in eastern Caracas.

Beside him a dozen workers sat in the street to wait resigned.

Train stoped by the blackout in the middle of the city, lot of reports of people inside tunnels trying to escape to the surface.

“Now we have to walk all of Caracas because there is no metro,” complained Alejandra, cashier at the restaurant, to AFP. Hundreds of people returned to their homes at the end of the afternoon and the few available buses were crowded.

The emergency revived the fears of a blackout such as the one on March 7, which forced the suspension of the workday for a week, as well as the classes.

“I’m worried that this will go a long way, I think it will continue and continue,” Neyda Colina told AFP, predicting that power interruptions will not stop. “The attacks are Chinese stories,” he added, after office colleagues down the stairs loaded in a chair by a disability in the right leg.

Juan Guaido in twitter about the blackout.
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