• Thursday, 11 July 2024

Nationwide outage leaves millions in Ecuador without power

Nationwide outage leaves millions in Ecuador without power

Buenos Aires, 20 June 2024 (dpa/MIA) - Millions of people in Ecuador were left without electricity for hours in a nationwide power outage in the South American country.

"It was a chain reaction," Public Works Minister Roberto Luque, who is also serving as the country's acting energy minister, was quoted as saying in a Wednesday post on X.

The failure of some power plants had created a "black out" effect, he said.

"The demand for energy was suddenly greater than the supply, which led to the collapse of the national power grid," Luque explained.

The blackout occurred at about 3:20 pm local time (2020 GMT), the minister said. Electricity was restored to a 95% level at about 6:40 pm.

"The incident shows that the Ecuadorian energy system is in crisis," Luque said, adding this was due to "a lack of investment in the maintenance and construction of power lines."

"In April there were problems with generation [of power], now it's problems with transmission," the minister noted.

Last April, the government declared a state of emergency due to power shortages, implementing power cuts of several hours to save energy.

Ecuador, which generates 78% of its electricity from hydropower, has been hit by severe drought, with water levels in reservoirs reaching historic lows.