17 million in the dark after Ecuador hit by nationwide blackout

Blackout in Ecuador Vehicles travel in near darkness during a blackout in Quito, Ecuador on June 19, 2024. Galo Paguay/AFP/Getty Images

Important Takeaways:

  • The blackout — which affected hospitals, homes, and a major subway system — was caused by maintenance and transmission issues in the country’s electrical system, authorities said.
  • “The outages we had today were due to a lack of investment in maintenance, new electrical transmission, and the protection of the electrical transmission infrastructure,” Public Infrastructure Minister Roberto Luque told a news conference on Wednesday.
  • As of Wednesday night, energy had been restored in 95% of the country, according to the government.
  • Ecuador has been struggling with an energy crisis for years. The latest saw Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa declare an energy emergency in April and order eight-hour nationwide power cuts amid a drought that affected power generation.
  • Guayaquil residents faced the outage amid 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) heat. “It’s unbearable, it’s so hot and humid, and we can’t use an air conditioner or a ventilator,” one resident told CNN.
  • “On top of this, the water is not running,” the resident added.

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