Argentina’s energy has largely recovered after a fire hit the national grid

  • Written by Will Grant and Alice Davies
  • BBC News, Mexico and London

photo caption,

A woman buys water from a shop in the dark in Buenos Aires

Electricity has been largely restored in Argentina after more than half of the country was left without power for several hours.

More than 20 million people were affected in major cities and vast areas of the countryside on Wednesday.

It is believed that the power outage was caused by a large open field fire west of the capital, Buenos Aires.

The fire brought down vital power lines and forced a nuclear power plant to stop operating.

The power outage comes amid a heatwave and drought in Argentina – with temperatures consistently above 35C (95F) in some parts of the country.

It has brought daily life to a halt in some areas, with classes suspended, businesses closed and many forced to go without air conditioning or refrigeration.

Water distribution services have stopped and some of them have been stranded due to public transportation services that have stopped.

Alejandra Rodriguez, a waitress in Buenos Aires, told the AFP news agency that her business was suffering from the lack of a generator.

She added that the worst thing about the “ordeal” was not knowing how long the power outage would last.

“We can’t work, we can’t clean ourselves, our bathrooms are out of water, and we can’t take care of people.”

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People wait in a long line outside the Constitución subway station due to a power outage in Buenos Aires

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