LAST_UPDATESun, 22 Jul 2018 9pm

Blackout Leaves Half Of Brazil In Dark

RIO DE JANEIRO -- A massive blackout left over half of the Brazilian states in the dark on Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the blackout remains unclear.

Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Fernando Coelho Filho said earlier in the day that the blackout was caused by a failure in a transmission line connected to the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant, located in the country's northern state of Para.

However, Luiz Eduardo Barata Ferreira, director general of the National Electric System Operator, said that the blackout was caused by a failed circuit breaker in the Xingu power substation, also located in Para state.

The most affected states were Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Maranhao, Para, Paraiba, Piaui, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Rondonia, Sergipe and Tocantins, all located in northern and northeastern regions. According to local media, 93 percent of the towns in those 14 states were affected by the blackout.

In addition, blackouts affected areas in almost all states in the southern, southeastern and midwestern regions including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Parana, and the Federal District, where capital city Brasilia is located.

In northern and northeastern Brazil, power was mostly reconnected after some three hours, and the blackout did not last more than half an hour in the rest of the country.

According to Ferreira, this incident caused minor disturbances in the southern, southeastern and midwestern regions, but led to a collapse of the power system in the northern and northeastern regions.