An extra day off has been announced today in Venezuela. The reason being the lingering blackout. Schools are closed. On March 8, residents of the country also remained at home due to power outages.
See Victoria Guseva's report on how the power supply is being restored.
Dozens of people share a single line filter. All the outlets are occupied... Several phones are being charged at the same time. If you want to charge your own gadget you have to wait your turn. This is how a lamppost at the pharmacy in the city of Miranda has become the meeting place of citizens. The power supply is shut down almost all over San Antonio de Los Altos.
"We go to charge phones to the pharmacy we've had no power supply for several days already. We need to stay connected. This is an outrage! I can't believe all of this is happening to us".
22 out of 23 states of Venezuela have been experiencing a blackout since last weekend. The reason for this is sabotage at the country's largest hydropower plants. On March 9, power supply was restored in 70 percent of the territory. But then, there was a new wave of hacker attacks. As a result, life in Venezuela is suspended once again. ATMs did not work. Phone companies had problems. Schools are closed.
The blackout has most affected hospitals. Several infants died due to the unexpected shut-off. In Caracas, hospitals were connected to emergency generators. The mayor of the capital assured there is enough fuel for their operation.
Although there are those who benefited from this trial apocalypse. Namely, looters. They attempted to rob a supermarket in Caracas but they were stopped by the police. About 50 people were arrested. The power supply is being partly restored in the Venezuelan streets. However, there's a lot to be done to complete the restoration.
Nicolas Maduro: "We have activated all the recovery systems. The process is still slow. It is most crucial now to protect our systems from attacks we've been experiencing three days in a row. We must make sure everything is stable".
Now all the facilities of the power network are under control of the military.
Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Minister of Defence: "Our troops are monitoring all strategic facilities, namely substations and power stations, at all levels. So we can guarantee the power supply will be restored and all the systems will be stabilized. Also, we can protect them from any other attacks that could have been planned to further wreak havoc, to harm the fighting spirit and the resilience of the Venezuelans".
Maduro thinks the "American Imperialism" is to blame for the incident. The US, however, denies any accusations of hacker attacks. They're even trying to figure out what caused the blackout. According to Senator Marco Rubio, the collapse happened because of the breakthrough of a certain "German dam". It was unclear at first what he meant. It turned out it was a mistranslation. Rubio took German Dam, a Venezuelan journalist, for a German dam, as a levee. Dam himself told the Senator about the misunderstanding in Twitter.
However, Venezuela is clearly not in the mood to joke around. The government of the republic is preparing a complaint to the UN on the actions of Washington.
Victoria Guseva, Vesti.