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Latin Times
Latin Times
Demian Bio

Ecuador left in the dark following nationwide power outage

The outage lasted several hours (Credit: AFP)

Ecuador experienced a nationwide power outage on Wednesday, with the 18 million people country left in the dark for several hours, including in the capital's subway system, local officials said on Wednesday.

"There is a failure in the transmission line that caused a cascade disconnection, so there's no electricity at a national scale," said Public Works Minister Roberto Luque, who also serves as acting Energy minister, as he addressed the issue on X.

Reporters in the country described confusion both above and below the ground. Above, traffic lights ceased to work. And below, Quito's subway system was ground to a halt.

"Due to a general failure of the national interconnected electrical energy system, the operation of the Quito Metro is interrupted while the systems are restarted and verified," the metro system said on X.

Quito Mayor Pabel Muñoz said the outage must have been huge to affect the subway, as it "uses an isolated system."

The incident happened as the country continues to grapple with a drought affecting its hydro-electricity power generation. Moreover, heavy rains during the weekend led authorities to paralyze the production of three such plants. The rains also caused a landslide that killed at least 17 people and left other 19 injured.

Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa declared an energy emergency in April and announced planned electricity cuts throughout the month.

The outage was solved for most of the country by late afternoon, Luque said. He said that the event "illustrates the energy crisis we are going through, with a lack of investment in energy generation, transmission and distribution." "We haven't seen any investment in years and we're suffering the consequences today," he added. The government had ruled out such outages would happen two days before.

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