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Power outage nationwide, traffic chaos in Ecuador

Jun 20, 2024

Quito [Ecuador], June 20: Ecuador had a power outage across the country on June 19 due to a problem with the power grid causing loss of line connection.
Ecuadorian Energy Minister Roberto Luque announced on social network "There is no longer energy service on a national scale. We are focusing all our efforts to solve the problem as quickly as possible," Secretary Luque wrote.
According to AFP, power was gradually restored about an hour later, including in the capital Quito.
The sudden power outage caused subway trains to stop operating and thousands of passengers were stranded and had to be evacuated by authorities.
Traffic lights stopped working and traffic police stood guard at intersections to maintain order in Quito, a city of 3 million people.
Quito Mayor Pabel Munoz said the incident must have been huge because it knocked out power to the metro system, which operates on a separate source.
Traffic chaos also occurred in Guayaquil city, a large metropolis along the Pacific Ocean. Witnesses said many people were trapped in elevators in office and apartment buildings.
The electric bus system running on rails in Cuenca city also stopped operating.
Ecuador experienced pre-planned rolling blackouts in April due to a drought that caused hydroelectric dams to run out of water . President Daniel Noboa then declared a state of emergency and announced a power outage schedule. However, the rainy season starting in May has put an end to this situation. Heavy rains last week forced authorities to temporarily stop operating three hydroelectric plants.
The rain led to a landslide that killed at least 17 people and injured 19 others, according to Reuters.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper