Massive Power Failure Hits Venezuela's Capital Caracas

People queue inside a bakery's and fast food shop, during a power cut in Caracas on Dec. 18, 2017. 

Photographer: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Large sections of the Venezuelan capital lost electricity Monday around noon, snarling traffic and forcing hundreds to evacuate office buildings, shopping centers and the Caracas subway system.

Blackouts were also reported in neighboring states Miranda and Vargas, leaving Venezuela’s largest international airport without power and grounding several flights. State power company Corpoelec said that a detached cable at a power generating station in Valles del Tuy was the source of the problem and that teams were working to fix the issue.

Congested mobile lines and spotty signal also meant Venezuelans in the capital were unable to communicate. Prolonged blackouts as well as water rationing have been adding to the hardships of Venezuelans who already have to stand in long lines to buy basic goods and live with hyperinflation.

Last year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stepped up measures to reduce electricity consumption to stave off a full blown crisis, including rolling back a change to the nation’s time zone that had been altered by his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, in 2007.

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