On Jun 16, 2019, Argentina and Uruguay saw a massive electrical failure that was first of its kind. Millions of people were affected due to a failure in the system. Though the exact cause of the failure still needs to be figured out, there is a possibility that this could have happened by excessive rainfall. Argentina has recently been hit by heavy rainfall which, as reported by UTE, Uruguay’s state-owned utility, has damaged some systems and that they need to be repaired.
South Brazil was also affected. In Buenos Aires, traffic lights stopped working. Trains and subways stopped midway on tracks. Nearly everything become inoperable almost together. AySA, a water company in Argentina, advised customers to ration water because its distribution system had stopped working.
Since Tierra del Fuego is not connected to the national grid, it was unaffected by the electrical failure.
Blackouts have been common in Argentina and the residents of Argentina are familiar with such situations. However, the scale of the blackout on Sunday was surprising to all, particularly because blackouts take place in summers when the demand is high, and not during June, when the weather is cool.
Flights were running normally. However, the ports in Argentina came to a complete standstill, as reported by Guillermo Wade, the manager for the Port and Maritime Activities Chamber.
On Twitter, the electrical distribution company, Edesur, tweeted at 7:50 am that a “massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power.”
The energy secretary Gustavo Lopetegui has ruled out the possibility of a cyber attack and added that Argentina’s electrical grid is robust with excess capacity in generation and transportation. Gerardo Rabinovich, vice president of the Argentine Energy Institute, however, stated that the transportation needs an upgrade a lot of parts of the system are saturated.
Power was restored in Argentina and in most of Uruguay by 10:30 am.