Not only tourism came to an end in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay Sunday
Not only tourism came to a stillstand on Sunday, but most activities were cut off to many ten millions of people in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay after a massive blackout cut electricity.
Authorities were working frantically to restore power, but a third of Argentina’s 44 million people were still in the dark by early evening.
Public transportation halted, shops closed and patients dependent on home medical equipment were urged to go to hospitals with generators.
Argentina’s power grid is in a state of disrepair, with substations and cables that were insufficiently upgraded as power rates remained largely frozen for years. An Argentine independent energy expert said that systemic operational and design errors played a role in the power grid’s collapse.
Uruguay’s energy company UTE said the failure in the Argentine system cut power to all of Uruguay at one point and blamed the collapse on a “flaw in the Argentine network.”
In Paraguay, power in rural communities in the south, near the border with Argentina and Uruguay, was also cut. The country’s National Energy Administration said service was restored by afternoon by redirecting energy from the Itaipu hydroelectric plant the country shares with neighboring Brazil.
In Argentina, only the southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego was unaffected by the outage because it is not connected to the main power grid.
Brazilian and Chilean officials said their countries had not been affected. The outage was unprecedented in recent history.