By Stephanie Foden, Contributing Reporter

SALVADOR, BRAZIL – Around fifty million people in northeastern Brazil were affected by a regionwide blackout on Wednesday afternoon. The power outage was the result of a manmade fire in a rural area of Piauí state that caused two private transmission lines to go down, disconnecting the northeast from the national power grid.

The ONS (National Electricity Operator System) - the independent entity in charge of coordinating transmission to the countrywide grid - said the first shutdown, linking the towns . . .

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