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Nationwide power outage leaves 18M Ecuadorians in the dark

By Mike Heuer
Ecuador experienced a massive power outage in 2009 and is enduring another massive outage Wednesday due to a defective transformer line that caused a cascading blackout. Photo by Calliopejen1/Wikimedia Commons
Ecuador experienced a massive power outage in 2009 and is enduring another massive outage Wednesday due to a defective transformer line that caused a cascading blackout. Photo by Calliopejen1/Wikimedia Commons

June 19 (UPI) -- A transmission line failure triggered a nationwide power outage in Ecuador that has left about 18 million people and public services without power as of Wednesday afternoon.

"There is no energy service on a national scale," Public Works Minister Roberto Luque posted on X. "We are concentrating all our efforts on resolving the problem as soon as possible."

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Luque also is Ecuador's energy minister and said a failure in a transmission line caused a cascading power outage that affected all of Ecuador by mid-afternoon Wednesday.

The power outage caused traffic lights to go out throughout Ecuador and brought to a halt the subway system in the nation's capital Quito.

The "national power outage impacts the entire capital," Quito Mayor Pabel Munoz posted on X.

He said the blackout's cause "must be very significant" because even the Quito Metro subway lost power despite using an isolated system.

Munoz said all capital services that use electrical lighting are down. He ordered reaction teams within Quito to help support mobility by preventing accidents at the city's main intersections and care for public spaces.

All municipal services in Quito that use electric lights have been suspended.

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Ecuador gets most of its electrical power from neighboring Colombia. In April, Ecuador undertook planned blackouts that left many major cities powerless for several hours.

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