Massive blackout hits four countries in Central America

Honduras and Nicaragua experienced significant power cuts, while El Salvador and Guatemala experienced partial outages.

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A massive blackout has left thousands without electricity in at least four countries in Central America, following a failure in the region’s electrical grid.

“At 11:48 (17:48GMT) there was an emergency in the Central American Electrical System due to a failure in the 230-kilowatt supply line in Honduras,” El Salvador’s electricity operator EOR said in a statement on Monday.

“A full blackout took place in the electrical systems of Nicaragua and Honduras,” EOR said, adding that Guatemala and El Salvador only experienced partial outages.

The blackout continued until 19:55GMT, according to information provided by the Nicaraguan government.

Leonardo Deras, energy generation manager of Hondura’s National Electricity Company, said the problem resulted from an overload at a substation on the Caribbean coast. 

“When the fault occurred, it was a time of maximum demand, therefore the protection systems [decided] that to prevent damage to the transmission lines it was better to disconnect,” Deras told local media.

Salvador Mansell, president of Nicaragua’s state power transmission company Enatrel, said the blackout hit his country’s capital, Managua, and 15 other provinces. 

Internet service and water distribution in parts of Managua, which relies on pumps, were also knocked out.

“The national blackout is already beginning to alter the road traffic in the Honduran capital and other cities in the country, where traffic lights have stopped working, ” the twitter account Trafico en Tegus wrote on Monday.

The four affected nations plus Costa Rica and Panama have shared a linked electrical network since the late 1980s. Costa Rica and Panama were not affected by the outage.

The latest blackout comes months after Argentina and Uruguay suffered a massive power failure that plunged millions into darkness.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies