Argentina’s Power Largely Restored After Fire Hits National Grid

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A woman buys water at a shop in the dark in Buenos AiresImage source, AFP
Image caption,

A woman buys water at a shop in the dark in Buenos Aires

Power has largely been restored in Argentina after more than half of the country was left without electricity for several hours.

More than 20 million people in major cities and large swathes of the countryside were affected on Wednesday.

The blackout is believed to have been caused by a large fire in open fields west of the capital, Buenos Aires.

The blaze brought down crucial power lines and forced a nuclear power station to be taken offline.

The blackout comes in the middle of a heatwave and drought in Argentina – with temperatures consistently above 35C (95F) in some parts of the country.

It brought daily life to a halt in some regions, with classes suspended, businesses shut and many having to go without air conditioning or refrigeration.

Water distribution services were interrupted and some were left stranded on public transport services which ground to a halt.

Alejandra Rodriguez, a waitress in Buenos Aries, told AFP news agency her business was struggling without a generator.

The worst thing about the “ordeal” was not knowing how long the blackout would last, she added.

“We cannot work, we cannot clean ourselves, our bathrooms have run out of water, we cannot attend to people.”

Power cuts are not uncommon in the country. In 2019, a massive electrical failure left tens of millions of people in the dark in Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay.

There have already been several smaller outages this year, coinciding with the dry and hot conditions.

People wait in a long queue outside the Constitucion subway station due to a power blackout in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 1, 2023,Image source, Reuters
Image caption,

People waited in a long queue outside the Constitucion subway station because of a power blackout in Buenos Aires
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