Caracas, other parts of Venezuela hit by power cut

Caracas, other parts of Venezuela hit by power cut

Venezuela outage
People pour to the streets in Caracas as the capital and other parts of Venezuela are being hit by a massive power cut. (Yuri CORTEZ/AFP)

CARACAS: Caracas and other parts of crisis-wracked Venezuela were hit by a massive power cut on Monday (Jul 22), AFP journalists and internet users said.

The lights went out in most of Caracas at 4.41pm (2041 GMT) while people in other parts of the country took to social media to report the power had gone out there too.

The state-owned power company CORPOELEC only reported a breakdown affecting sectors of Caracas.

The capital was hit by huge traffic jams due to the traffic lights losing power while the sidewalks were full of pedestrians walking home as the metro had stopped running.

An even bigger power outage in March affected all 23 states in Venezuela and lasted a week, paralyzing basic services such as the water supply and forcing the working day and school classes to be suspended.

President Nicolas Maduro had blamed unnamed "terrorists" for that near-nationwide blackout, claiming they had attacked the Guri hydroelectric plant in the south of the country that supplies power to 80 per cent of Venezuela's 30 million inhabitants.

Another huge outage in April left large parts of the country, including Caracas, in darkness, although it lasted hours rather than days.

"I'm fed up. Necessary repairs weren't carried out. It's always the same thing," Eurimar Guere, 36, told AFP after leaving her office in Caracas.

"Maybe this power cut will be worse than the previous ones."

Blackouts are a common occurrence in Venezuela, especially in remote western regions.

The government usually blames them on sabotage but experts say that a lack of investment, poor management and corruption are the more likely culprits.

"They tried to hide the tragedy by rationing throughout the country, but the failure is clear," said opposition leader Juan Guaido on Twitter.

"They've destroyed the electricity system and they don't have any answers."

Source: AFP/de