Much of Venezuela went dark late Thursday afternoon after a power outage hit Caracas and at least nine states.
Traffic snarled across the capital and the metro closed, forcing commuters to trek home by foot. Travelers also reported that the lights went out in the international airport near Caracas, the country’s largest. On social media, users reported blackouts from the Andes to the Caribbean coast.
The public utility Corpoelec claimed that electric generation at Venezuela’s Guri dam had been sabotaged. The facility in southern Bolivar state powers almost two thirds of the country.
“We have again been victims of a power war. This time, we have been attacked on the power generation and transmission side from Bolivar state, specifically the Guri, the backbone of power," Electricity Minister Luis Motta said on state television. Motta said service would be restored in about three hours.
Rolling blackouts and water shortages have become a near daily occurrence across Venezuela as infrastructure falls into disarray after years of mismanagement and exodus of personnel. Major cites and towns lose power for hours at a time on a near daily basis. According to industry analysts, the electrical crisis is due to neglect amid the country’s economic collapse.