Brazil hit by large electricity blackout

2013-08-29 10:00
(Asif Hassan, AFP)

(Asif Hassan, AFP)

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Sao Paulo - Several cities in Brazil's northeast were hit by an electricity blackout on Wednesday starting around 15:00 local time (1800 GMT), the national electricity regulator and local media said.

A representative of Chesf, the country's biggest electricity transmission company, said the scope of the blackout was still unclear.

Fernanda Santos, a spokesperson for Celpe, Pernambuco state's power distributor, said the entire state of Pernambuco was blacked out as well as most of the northeast. She also said there were blackout reports from as far south as Salvador in Bahia state and also in Joao Pessoa in Paraiba state.

Brazil's national grid operator, ONS, is attempting to re-establish power to the region.

Brazil has suffered several major blackouts in the past decade as its aging infrastructure, hobbled by one of Latin America's lowest levels of public investment, has struggled to keep pace with its economic growth.

Hydroelectric generation and transmission projects are usually delayed in Latin America's largest economy.

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