The power is back on in Argentina after a fire in fields west of the capital, Buenos Aires, Wednesday afternoon damaged a high-voltage power line and caused massive blackouts across half the country. The fire also caused the state-run nuclear power plant Atucha I and Embalse to be shut down.
Local media reported that the power grid was unable to meet 40 percent of its electricity demand after the high-voltage line was damaged, causing blackouts across several districts in the capital. The power outage affected entire neighborhoods, and transportation ground to a halt as traffic lights malfunctioned, and subway trains stopped running.
A waitress in Buenos Aires, Alejandra Rodriguez, said that her restaurant turned on a generator when the power went out and added that the worst part of the blackout was the uncertainty regarding how long it would last.
"We cannot work, we cannot clean ourselves, our bathrooms have run out of water, we cannot attend to people," Rodriguez commented.
While rolling blackouts are not uncommon in Buenos Aires, massive widespread power outages are rare. A massive power failure several years ago plunged millions of Argentinians into darkness for days, and unannounced blackouts typically cause confusion across the capital.
Locals were not only concerned about where to use the bathroom during Wednesday's blackout but there were also worries about rising temperatures as a heat wave had pushed the temperature to 37C (99F).
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