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    5. Power outages leave 18 million people without electricity in Ecuador

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    Power outages leave 18 million people without electricity in Ecuador

    Power outages are believed to have occurred across the country. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

    Ecuador suffered a nationwide blackout on Wednesday, leaving the country of about 18 million people in the dark, including the capital's metro.

    On Wednesday evening, power was finally restored to much of the area country, but not before a massive shutdown affected hospitals, homes and the transport network.

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    Public Works Minister Roberto Luque said in a message on X that 95 percent of services had been restored.

    The power outage left the country of about 18 million people in the dark, with the minister also citing poor maintenance as a factor.

    People near a metro station in Quito during a power outage. Photo: AP

    A Reuters witness said the streets of the capital Quito were in chaos as traffic lights stopped working.

    “What happened today is further evidence of the energy crisis we are dealing with.” , he said, noting recent problems caused by insufficient power generation, which led to unplanned power outages.

    Mr Luque, who is also acting energy minister, stressed that Wednesday's outage was due to a lack of investment in power transmission that could have been avoided.

    Earlier in the day, he blamed a power line failure that caused a “cascading blackout.”

    In April, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared an energy emergency and announced planned blackouts.

    Mr. Noboa has ordered public and private sector employees to work three days a week to conserve energy in response to unprecedented blackouts.< /p> Roberto Luque, center, Ecuador's minister of public works, said “there was no electricity in the house.” national scale" Photo: @ROBERTOLUQUEN/X

    Wednesday's power outage created hazardous driving conditions for scores of motorists as traffic lights stopped working. Quito's metro service was also disrupted for several hours.

    As the South American country grappled with a drought that affected hydroelectric power generation, heavy rains over the weekend forced authorities to shut down three hydroelectric power plants.< /p>

    Rainfall over the weekend triggered a landslide that killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more. 

    The disaster also prompted Ecuador's private oil pipeline OCP to suspend operations and declare force majeure.

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