Power cut hits ‘millions’ in northeast Brazil

A fire on a farm in Brazil triggered a power blackout in eight states in the north-eastern part of the country yesterday, reports claim. Two sets of transmission lines that […]

By Priyanka Shrestha

A fire on a farm in Brazil triggered a power blackout in eight states in the north-eastern part of the country yesterday, reports claim.

Two sets of transmission lines that provide power to the nation’s populous states – including Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, Alagoas, Ceará, Paraíba, Sergipe – were damaged.

That caused a drop of around 10,900MW of capacity of electricity, the national electricity operator ONS said in a statement.

Power was believed to have been restored two-and-a-half hours later in some regions, however, smaller cities were without electricity for longer.

The news comes as the nation prepares for the 2014 World Cup, with three cities hosting the football games affected as well. Two major power cuts last year raised concerns about Brazil’s electricity transmission network and whether it is ready to host the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Reports claim at least 16 million people across the northeast were temporarily without power and factories and schools closed early in some of the region’s biggest cities.

Last month the UK’s Carbon Trust said it will be helping Brazil manage its power grid during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games using the knowledge gained during the London games last year.

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