Central America Blackout Hits Four Countries

A power line failure left thousands of people across four Central America countries without electricity.

The fault on the region’s grid caused a complete blackout for more than an hour in Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as power cuts in parts of Guatemala and El Salvador.

The four nations have shared a linked electricity network – the Central America Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC) – since the late 1980s, along with Costa Rica and Panama, who were unaffected during the outage.

A statement from EOR, the electricity operator in El Salvador, confirmed: “At 11:48 (17:48GMT) there was an emergency in the Central American Electrical System due to a failure in the 230 kV transmission supply line in Honduras.

“A full blackout took place in the electrical systems of Nicaragua and Honduras.”

Leonardo Deras from Honduras’ National Electricity Company revealed the problem started with a substation overload.

He said: “When the fault occurred, it was a time of maximum demand, therefore the protection systems decided that to prevent damage to the transmission lines it was better to disconnect.”

It took four hours for 35% of Nicaragua’s energy system to recover, while 95% of Honduras was back online in the same timeframe.

The incident in Central America comes just a couple of months after nearly 50 million people in South America were left in the dark after a blackout hit Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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