In the Dark: Massive Blackout Hits Argentina’s Electrical Networks

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BUENOS AIRES  – A massive blackout affects the  City of Buenos Aires, the Buenos Aires Conurbation, several provinces and Uruguay, from this Sunday morning onward. It is the first time in history that the lack of supply is registered in the entire national territory and simultaneously.

 

The cut of the supply took place to the 7.07 hours and the neighbors began from early to relate what happened from their social networks.

 

Faced with this situation, the Energy Secretariat explained that ” a collapse of the Argentine Interconnection System (SADI) produced a massive power outage throughout the country that also affected Uruguay”.

 

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Although the causes are not yet determined with precision “the recovery in the regions of Cuyo, NOA and Comahue has already begun and the rest of the system is being opened to continue with the total recovery, which is estimated to take a few hours”, said the official body.

The energization process started two hours later from the strongest points of the system: the hydroelectric plants Yacyretá, Chocón and Salto Grande. Transener, on the other hand, opened the system and is energizing again to be able to regularize the service.

 

In spite of the speculations on a supposed sabjate, it clarified that “the cut was produced of automatic way (without human intervention) due to a fault of the system of transport from Yacyretá”.

 

At 10:45 am they had already normalized approx. 2000 MW of demand, on a total expected demand of 15,000 MW. It came to feed stations in the province of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe.

Consulted by Infobae , the spokesperson of Edesur, Alejandra Martinez said that “something like this never happened” and confirmed that “the blackout is at the country level and also affects Uruguay”.

Edenor, meanwhile, reported on his Twitter that  “due to a general failure in the interconnection system, Argentina and neighboring countries are without electricity.”

Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of Civil Protection Operations, Daniel Russo, told  TN  that  “it will take a maximum of 6 hours to restore service throughout the country”  so that around 3 pm the electricity would return.

 

He admitted that “luckily it happened at very early hours” so there were not too many complications. He also denied that problems have occurred in public hospitals and stressed “that intensive therapies work with power generators.”

 

In Capital and Province, an alert applies to emergency services. At least 300 city officials were deployed in the streets to address the problems of the power outage. In addition, fuel loading operations are performed for the replenishment of electric generators in public health centers.

 

Edesur stressed that the income from power generation to the interconnected system of the Federal Capital and Greater Buenos Aires began at around 9.30 am. “Our Control Center initiated the demands for standardization and slowly the electric power service to the network begins to be restored, and we entered the first 34,000 customers,” he said.

The avenue 9 de Julio, without light (ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP)

The avenue 9 de Julio, without light (ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP)

Santa Fe, San Luis, Formosa, La Rioja, Chubut, Cordoba and Mendoza are some of the affected provinces. At the moment, Tierra del Fuego was the only one in which the usual electric service was maintained.

 

On Twitter, the official account of the Provincial Energy Company of Córdoba reported that “due to a fault outside Epec, in 500 kV of the national interconnected system operated by Transener, there was a zero voltage restriction that affected a large part of the country included. the Province of Córdoba, as well as to areas of Santa Fe, the Federal Capital and the province of Buenos Aires At this moment, work is being done to determine the reason for this failure and to be able to return the supply in the shortest possible time “.

 

The first hypotheses indicate that the blackout  occurred due to an imbalance between the energy supplied and the demand. N ormally, this can occur in the presence of a fault in a trunk node in the system, as detailed from the press area of Edersa, the energy company Rio Black, the media in the province.

Meanwhile, the National Administration of Power Plants and Transmissions of Uruguay (UTE) said through Twitter that “a flaw in the Argentine network” left the “entire national territory” without light.

What is also striking is that the website of the National Entity for Energy Regulation (ENRE), which reports in real time on power outages, is down.

 

On an election Sunday, it is also worrying what will happen to the votes in San Luis, Tierra del Fuego, Formosa and Santa Fe . In San Luis , for example,  the schools opened their doors an hour and a half later; near 9.30. While in Formosa, photos of several prosecutors who decided to assist voters with the lights of their phones to vote were viralized.

With regard to means of transport, the service of trains, subways and premetro is paralyzed.  The lines Roca, Urquiza, Sarmiento, Miter are interrupted. In Aeroparque and Ezeiza, on the other hand, the flight service works normally due to the fact that they have electric generators.

 

Both in the City of Buenos Aires and in the province, attention is also placed on the water. In the absence of electricity, the tanks are not filled and it is feared that in the course of a few hours, millions of homes will suffer a health accident.

 

Regarding the drinking water distribution system, Aysa asked its users to  “make rational use of water ” so as not to suffer shortages.

 

Although in the last decade users have become accustomed to power cuts in different cities, especially in the summer months, they have always occurred by areas and in some cases there have even been “programmed cuts”. But until today there has never been a simultaneous collapse across the country.

 

The last major blackout with the greatest number of people affected occurred in 2002, when close to 13 million users were without electricity for hours.

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