Venezuela entered its fourth day of blackouts in an “electricity crisis” that plunged most of the country’s 23 states, including the state home to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, into complete darkness.
Reuters reports that international non-governmental organizations estimate that at least 17 people have died, nine of whom were waiting for emergency medical attention. Reuters was not able to independently verify the numbers, but they are being tabulated by the non-partisan NGO, Doctors For Health, which has been treating patients in Venezuela.
“The outage is by far the longest in decades. In 2013, Caracas and 17 of the country’s 23 states were hit by a six-hour blackout, while in 2018 eight states suffered a 10-hour power outage, government officials said at the time,” Reuters reported Sunday. Six of the country’s 23 states have no power at all.
Bloomberg reports that the outage began when a transformer exploded at the Guri Dam, one of the nation’s most important hydroelectric plants. The government says the explosion was “sabotage,” but it’s not immediately clear what caused the system to collapse. One government official blamed the problem on eroding infrastructure. . .
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) March 8, 2019
Hospitals can’t even use emergency generators because of Venezuela’s ongoing fuel shortage. Without gasoline to power the generators, the country is reliant on the grid system to deliver power, even in emergency situations. (Read more from “Venezuela Goes Dark in Worst Blackout in DECADES” HERE)