Home International Unexplained blackout leaves 20,000,000 without electricity in South America

Unexplained blackout leaves 20,000,000 without electricity in South America

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Millions of people were left in the dark on Sunday (Picture: Reuters)

A massive blackout has left tens of millions of people without electricity in Argentina and Uruguay after an unexplained failure in the neighbouring countries interconnected power grid.

Authorities were working frantically to restore power, but by mid-afternoon on Sunday about half of Argentinas 40 million people were still in the dark.

Voters cast ballots using the light of their mobile phones in governor elections in the country.

Public transportation stopped, shops closed and patients dependent on home medical equipment were urged to go to hospitals with generators.

Lucas Acosta, 24, who lives in Buenos Aires resident said: I was just on my way to eat with a friend, but we had to cancel everything. Theres no subway, nothing is working.

Whats worse, today is Fathers Day. Ive just talked to a neighbour and he told me his sons wont be able to meet him.

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Locals were forced to sleep on sidewalks to escape the heat.

Patients with kidney disease and their relatives wait on the street for the return of electricity, in front of a dialysis center during a blackout, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Patients with kidney disease and their relatives wait on the street for the return of electricity, in front of a dialysis center during a blackout, in Maracaibo, Venezuela (Picture: Reuters)

In this May 15, 2019 photo, popcorn vendor Raul Navas looks for customers during a black out in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Navas uses a kerosene lamp to illuminate his cart as he walks the streets during the blackout. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Popcorn vendor Raul Navas looks for customers during a black out in Maracaibo (Picture: AP)

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In this May 15, 2019 photo, people sleep on the sidewalk to escape from the heat, due to the lack of electricity in their homes that does not allow them to run their air conditioners and fans, during a blackout in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Maracaibo's sweltering heat approaches 100 degrees (37 centigrade) most days, making the air conditioner a must. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

People sleep on the sidewalk to escape from the heat, due to the lack of electricity in their homes that does not allow them to run their air conditioners and fans (Picture: AP)

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - JUNE 16: General view of Constitucion railway station during the massive energy blackout in Argentina on June 16, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A widespread power failure early Sunday morning has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, social media users have reported that parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay have also been affected. Argentine Secretariat of Energy has stated that Argentinas interconnection system had collapsed. (Photo by Lalo Yasky/Getty Images)

Public transportation stopped, shops closed and patients dependent on home medical equipment were urged to go to hospitals with generators (Picture: Getty Images)

By mid-afternoon, power had been restored to most of Uruguays three million people.

But in Argentina, only about 50 per cent of the nations grid was back up and running, President Mauricio Macri said on Twitter, and officials from the Energy Secretariat were rallying to establish full service to all users.

Argentinas power grid is generally known for being in a state of disrepair, with substations and cables that were insufficiently upgraded as power rates remained largely frozen for years.

The countrys energy secretary said the blackout occurred around 7am local time when a key interconnection system collapsed, but the causes were being investigated and are not yet determined.

Brazilian and Chilean officials said their countries had not been affected.

Officials were not immediately available for comment, but many residents of Argentina and Uruguay said the size of the outage was unprecedented in recent history.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - JUNE 16: General view of downtown Buenos Aires at the crossing of 9 de julio and Corrientes avenues by the Obelisk monument during the massive energy blackout in Argentina on June 16, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A widespread power failure early Sunday morning has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, social media users have reported that parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay have also been affected. Argentine Secretariat of Energy has stated that Argentinas interconnection system had collapsed. (Photo by Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images)

The blackout is unexplained (Picture: Getty Images)

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - JUNE 16: VIew of a butcher shop and greengrocery during the massive energy blackout on June 16, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A widespread power failure early Sunday morning has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, social media users have reported that parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay have also been affected. Argentine Secretariat of Energy has stated that Argentinas interconnection system had collapsed. (Photo by Lalo Yasky/Getty Images)

Shops were forced to close (Picture: Getty Images)

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - JUNE 16: VIew of a butcher shop and greengrocery during the massive energy blackout on June 16, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A widespread power failure early Sunday morning has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, social media users have reported that parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay have also been affected. Argentine Secretariat of Energy has stated that Argentinas interconnection system had collapsed. (Photo by Lalo Yasky/Getty Images)

Social media users have reported that parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay have also been affected (Picture: Getty Images)

Hallways of Buenos Aires's subway are lit only by emergency lights during a blackout, in Buenos Air</br><a href=https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/16/unexplained-blackout-leaves-20000000-without-electricity-south-america-9973323/><strong>Read More – Source</strong></a></p> 
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