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Widespread power failure hits Venezuela, blamed for "electromagnetic attack"



People wait in the parking lot of a shopping center in Caracas on July 22, 2019, when the capital and other parts of Venezuela are hit by a massive blackout.

MATIAS DELACROIX | AFP | Getty Images

More than half of the 23 Venezuelan states lost power on Monday, according to Reuters witnesses and social media reports.

It was the first power outage in the capital city of Caracas since March, when the government blamed the opposition and the United States for a series of power outages that left millions of people without running water and no telecommunications.

The blackouts exacerbated an economic crisis that halved the size of the economy.

Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said Monday's failure was due to an "electromagnetic attack" without evidence. He added that the authorities are in the process of resuming service.

According to a Reuters witness, the power supply returned to parts of the southeastern state of Bolivar, where the Guri Dam was located ̵

1; the source of most generations of Venezuelan – for about 10 minutes. In Caracas there were still power outages.

"I'm afraid we're facing a national blackout," said Maria Luisa Rivero, a 45-year-old business owner from Valencia, central Carabobo.

"The first thing I did was freeze my food so it would not be as bad as last time in March, it costs a lot to buy food just to lose it," she said.

The oil-rich country's hyperinflationary economic crisis has led to a widespread shortage of food and medicines, causing over 4 million Venezuelans to leave the country.

Venezuela's national grid has expired after years of inadequate investment and maintenance, say the opposition and energy experts.

"These blackouts are catastrophic," said the 51-year-old caretaker Bernardina Guerra, who lives in Caracas. "I live in the eastern part of town and the lights go out every day, and every day it gets worse."


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