By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Power began to return to the grid around noon after a major blackout hit Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay earlier this Sunday, June 16th, leaving tens of millions without power, officials said.
Argentina’s grid “collapsed” around 7 AM local time, leaving the entire country without power, the Argentinian Energy Secretariat said in a statement. The shutdown also cut off electricity in areas of neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay.
Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, whose populations total almost 55 million, said energy is being restored in major cities, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Energy company Edesur Argentina said it restored the service to 450,000 of its customers in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires by noon, local time, but considered the interruption “exceptional” and said it would most likely take the rest of the day to fully restore electricity throughout the affected region.
Uruguay’s energy company UTE reported on its social media that energy had been reestablished in parts of Montevideo and the southern coast of Uruguay. In Paraguay, the capital Asunción was not affected by the interruption, but local suppliers said they were restoring electricity in smaller cities and rural areas.
A spokesman for the Brazilian power system’s operation stated that the interruption had not affected Brazil.