All of Argentina and Uruguay without power in massive outage

All of Argentina and Uruguay without power in massive outage

The massive outage left Buenos Aires dark early this morning, hobbling public transportation, cutting off water supply and crippling phone and internet communications across the city.

Gubernatorial elections in Tierra del Fuego in the south were unaffected by the outage because the province is separate from the rest of the country's grid.

"The process of normalization, which will require several hours, is beginning", Edesur said. It was not immediately clear to what extent drilling operations there had been impacted.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total almost 55 million, said power was being quickly restored to major cities and heavily populated coastal regions, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

UTE said the failure left Uruguay's "entire national territory without service, as well as several provinces of the neighbour country".

Electricity is gradually being restored in Argentina and Uruguay after a widespread blackout Sunday morning that officials blamed on a power transmission system failure.

Half of Argentina had power by mid-afternoon, Macri said.

"I was just on my way to eat with a friend, but we had to cancel everything".

Reporting from Buenos Aires, Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo said some traffic lights and trains were working in the capital but that power had not been fully restored.

The power outage fell on a day of provincial elections in some of Argentina's provinces.

"There are already coastal cities with service and work continues toward general restoration", it said.

Two Argentine power companies confirmed that the failure knocked out electricity throughout Argentina, without specifying the cause.

Argentina's energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, said the cause of the power failure had not yet been determined.

"Never in my life have I seen such a huge power cut", another user wrote.

Since taking office, Macri has said that gradual austerity measures were needed to revive the country's struggling economy. He has cut red tape, and tried to reduce the government's budget deficit by ordering job cuts and reducing utility subsidies, which he maintained was necessary to recuperate lost revenue due to years-long mismanagement of the electricity sector.

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