Ecuador was without power for over three hours due to massive blackout

Ecuador was in the dark for more than three hours today, Wednesday afternoon, due to a massive blackout that affected the entire country. “A fault in the transmission line caused a cascade connection to break, so there is no energy service at the national level,” Energy Minister Roberto Luque reported on the social network X. The power cut, which was restored at half past six in the afternoon in 95% of the territory, caused chaos in the streets of the main cities, Quito and Guayaquil. The blackout comes amid an energy crisis that the country has been struggling with since 2023 and which has worsened in recent days after heavy rains were recorded in the mountains and the Amazon region. The storm affected the Coca Codo Sinclair and Egoyan hydroelectric plants, which provide more than 50% of the country’s electricity. The Ministry of Education has suspended afternoon face-to-face classes in all centers to guarantee the safety of school activities.

Hydroelectric turbines had to be shut down over the weekend as rain washed away sediments and damaged the facilities. However, Minister Luke admitted the outages were avoidable. “It could have been avoided, yes gentlemen, it could have been avoided,” he said before placing responsibilities on previous administrations.

The person responsible for the country’s energy policy said that for 20 years there has been no investment in a systemic power protection system. Furthermore, he explained that the failure that caused the blackout across the country began in the afternoon when the transmission line, known as Milagro-Zore, failed. “This is the last thing the technicians of the National Electricity Operator were able to notice. That energy was automatically distributed through other lines which also caused errors. And then the failure affected other generation plants, and so the whole system began to collapse in a chain of events that led to a massive power outage. “Blackout”,

After three o’clock in the afternoon local time, interruptions in the electricity service began to be recorded in the main cities of Ecuador, from the capital, Quito, to Guayaquil, the most populous, passing through Cuenca, at the gates of the Amazon. At around half past six the supply was gradually restored until reaching 95% coverage. Even at seven o’clock there were areas where it was still dark. In any case, Luque stressed that this emergency is a reflection of the energy crisis that Ecuador is suffering due to the lack of investment in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems. “For years we have stopped investing in these systems and today we are suffering the consequences,” the minister said, emphasizing that the current government has arranged investments to solve the crisis that began last October and worsened in April when power cuts reached up to ten hours a day.

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