Massive power cuts hit whole of Argentina

Argentina and Uruguay are without power following a massive failure of the electrical system. TWITTER/@lucas_m_rod

Argentina and Uruguay are without power following a massive failure of the electrical system. TWITTER/@lucas_m_rod

UTE, Uruguay's energy supplier, also confirmed the power outage, saying a malfunction in the Argentine network had left "the entire national territory" without service.

Uruguay power company UTE said on social media that power had returned to parts of Montevideo and the southern coast of Uruguay.

Argentina said it isn't ruling out a cyberattack after what President Mauricio Macri called an "unprecedented" power blackout struck five South American countries on Sunday.

In a statement on its website, Edesur said a "collapse" in its system occurred around 7 a.m. (6 a.m. ET).

Several Argentine provinces were forced to temporarily delay local elections.

It was unclear how many people had been affected by the blackout, but the nations have a combined population of more than 45 million.

Uruguayan authorities blamed the Argentinian grid for the blackout.

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Reporting from Buenos Aires, Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo said some traffic lights and trains were working in the capital but that power had not been fully restored.

"There are already coastal cities with service and work continues toward general restoration", it said.

The massive blackout on Father's Day left Buenos Aires dark early this morning, hobbling public transportation, cutting off water supply and crippling phone and internet communications across the city.

Customers of AySA, a water company, who have been affected by the blackout in Argentina were asked to ration water because the distribution system had shut down.

It could also impact the regional elections taking place in several parts of Argentina.

Argentina's Civil Protection Minister Daniel Russo estimated that it will take between six and eight hours to fully restore power in the country of over 44 million.

"I've never seen something like this", said Silvio Ubermann, a taxi driver in the Argentine capital. Tierra del Fuego in the far south is the only area that remains unaffected because it is not connected to the power grid. She said her biggest concern was that electricity be restored in time to watch the national team play in the Copa America football tournament Sunday evening.

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