Widespread Power Blackout Hits Much of Chile

A massive power blackout affected 9 million people across Chile on Saturday, forcing thousands in the capital to be evacuated from trains or subway cars.

Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez said the cause of the blackout has not been definitively determined but he cited “oscillation problems” in two power lines and a failure in a computer system.

The blackout occurred at 8:30 p.m. local time (23:30 GMT) Saturday and affected a 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) stretch of this narrow, coast-hugging country. Two hours later, officials said power had been restored to 90 percent of the capital, Santiago. Other parts of Chile remained without electricity.

Authorities said the blackout affected 9 million of Chile’s 16 million people

Deputy Interior Secretary Rodrigo Ubilla said that one supermarket in the capital had been looted, adding that police and authorities were providing security during the blackout.

Source: The Associated Press

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