Giant power cut in South America leaves 48m without electricity

Electricity failures covered the whole of Argentina and Uruguay, as well as parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay

A giant power cut in South America yesterday left approximately 48 million people without access to electricity.

A “massive failure” covered the whole of Argentina and Uruguay, as well as parts of Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

Power has now been restored to nearly all affected areas and Argentine President Mauricio Macri has promised a full investigation.

The blackout is thought to have begun shortly after 07:00 (10:00GMT) on Sunday, prompted by a failure in an electrical grid that serves both Argentina and Uruguay.

It caused cities to go dark, trains to stop on the tracks and traffic lights to stop working – the power cut happened as local elections were taking place, which resulted in delays in voting in a number of regions.

Argentinian energy distribution firm Edesur said: “The failure in Argentina’s interconnection system originated from an electricity transport connection between the Yacyretá and Salto Grande power plants on the Argentine Coast.

“In order to guarantee the total replacement of the service, we continue working on the solution of specific cases that arise from the massive failure that occurred in the interconnection system.”

Energy companies in all affected countries suggested power has now been restored to the vast majority of households and businesses.

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