2009 Brazil and Paraguay blackout

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Itaipu Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric plant by energy generation and second-largest by installed capacity

The 2009 Brazil and Paraguay blackout was a power outage that occurred throughout much of Brazil and for a short time the entirety of Paraguay,[1] on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, at approximately 22:15 BST.[2] The blackout affected an estimated 60 million people in Brazil.[3]

The blackout[edit]

Thousands of passengers were stranded as metro trains came to a halt and buses failed to cope with the volume of passengers. There were widespread reports of road accidents as street lighting and traffic lights failed.[4] The blackout began about 22:15 on Tuesday and lasted until about 02:45 on Wednesday in São Paulo, although power was restored gradually in some places from before midnight.[5][6]

Causes[edit]

Heavy rains and strong winds caused three transformers on a key high-voltage transmission line to short circuit, cutting the line and automatically causing the complete loss of 14 GW of power and the shutdown of the Itaipu Dam for the first time in its 25-year history.[7][8] The power cut, which Brazilian officials said affected 18 of the country's 26 states, brought chaos to cities including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Campo Grande and Vitória.[9]

Media such as Slashdot[10] and 60 Minutes reported [11] that the outage was the work of hackers. However, in December, 2010, Wikileaks released a US diplomatic cable which suggested otherwise. The cable also reported that it

represented a loss of 28,000 megawatts - or 45 percent of total Brazilian consumption at that instant - of electricity and left an estimated 87 million residents without power. Scrutiny has been intense and speculation rife over the cause of the incident, in large part due to the recent announcement of Rio as the host of the 2016 summer Olympics.

and indicated that the longest outage was 6 hours, in São Paulo, and details interim reports on what failures caused the outage, and responses under consideration.[11][12]

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arranged an emergency commission to enquire into the cause of the blackout.[13] The blackout also unleashed a political stir as the Minister of Energy has been summoned to testify before Congress.[14]

Affected regions[edit]

Paraguay[edit]

The Itaipu Dam is shared with Paraguay. In the immediate aftermath of its failure, interconnecting lines to Paraguay's other large powerplant, the Yacyreta Dam (in the border with Argentina), also failed. All of the country's territory was affected by the blackout.[15][16]

Brazil[edit]

Map showing the locations in Brazil affected by the blackout
  Entirely affected states
  Partially affected states
Entirely affected states[citation needed]
Partially affected states

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], [2], [3], [4] and [5]
  2. ^ "ANALYSIS-Brazil blackout a glitch, but shows investment need". Reuters. 2009-02-09. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  3. ^ 19:55 ET. "Lights flicker on after blackout in Brazil - Americas- msnbc.com". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  4. ^ "/ Americas - Inquiry ordered after Brazilian blackout". Ft.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Brazilian President says massive blackout isolated incident_English_Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 2007-05-22. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Power restored in Brazil after blackouts - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. 2009-11-11. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  7. ^ By BRADLEY BROOKS (AP) – 9 hours ago. "The Associated Press: Bad weather blamed in blackout for 60M in Brazil". Google.com. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Official: Brazil Blackout Caused by Bad Weather - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News". FOXNews.com. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  9. ^ "Dam failure triggers huge blackout in Brazil - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. 2009-11-11. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  10. ^ "Massive Power Outages In Brazil Caused By Hackers - Slashdot". It.slashdot.org. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  11. ^ a b Soares, Marcelo (2010-12-06). "WikiLeaked Cable Says 2009 Brazilian Blackout Wasn’t Hackers, Either". Wired News. Archived from the original on 9 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  12. ^ http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/12/09BRASILIA1383.html
  13. ^ "Lula exige una explicación por el apagón que dejó sin luz a millones de personas en Brasil · ELPAÍS.com" (in Spanish). Elpais.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  14. ^ "Brasil: tormenta política por el apagón" (in Spanish). lanacion.com. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  15. ^ "ABC Digital - Gigantesco apagón en el Brasil deja a oscuras a todo Paraguay" (in Spanish). Abc.com.py. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  16. ^ Redacción VOA 11.11.09 (2009-08-20). "Paraguay señala a Brasil por apagón | América Latina | Spanish" (in Spanish). .voanews.com. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12.