Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Power blackout hits 70% of Venezuela

04 September 2013, 11:49

Caracas - Venezuela's main power distribution network failed on Tuesday, depriving 70% of the country of electricity and creating traffic chaos in much of Caracas, which normally escapes such outages.

Electrical Energy Minister Jesse Chacon said on state TV that the failure was in the "backbone" that carries electricity from the Bajo Caroni region, where 60% of Venezuela's power is generated.

President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday night that 14 of 23 states lost power for much of the day and blamed "sabotage," which he did not detail. He said service was "progressively restored" with some exceptions, including the oil-producing state of Zulia.

Power that was lost at midday was restored in Caracas by nightfall.

Despite possessing the world's largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela has been plagued in recent years by worsening power outages. They have, however, rarely affected metropolitan Caracas, home to more than one-sixth of the country's 28 million people.

Maduro said the oil industry, the lifeblood of the economy, was not affected by the outage. He blamed "the extreme right-wing," as he has in the past, via Twitter.

In an evening event broadcast on state TV, he claimed the outage was "part of a low-level war" on what his government refers to as "the revolution" begun by the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro's political mentor. He provided no evidence of any sabotage.

Maduro said he had ordered the military to "protect the entire country".

The capital's subway service was temporarily interrupted, and authorities evacuated riders from several trains.

Opposition politicians say the government, while spending billions on programs for the poor, hasn't invested sufficiently in the electrical grid and generating plants to keep up with growing demand.

Authorities say delays in several initiatives designed to boost electricity output are partly to blame.

Chacon, a long-time close aide to Chavez, was named energy minister after Maduro won election in April. The previous energy minister was a brother of Chavez, Argenis.

Chavez died in March after 14 years in power. Maduro was his long-time foreign minister and later, while Chavez was dying of cancer, his vice president.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...