Power outage hits multiple Central American countries

A handout picture shows people who are evacuated by the police in several zones of the North Caribbean province of Limon, Costa Rica, on Nov. 22, 2016. On July 1, a power outage hit multiple countries across Central America, including Costa Rica, where 1.4 million homes and businesses were left without power for hours. File Photo by Presidential House of Costa Rica/UPI

July 3 (UPI) — A massive power outage hit Central America, causing millions of people to lose electricity for hours.

The outage was caused by an overload in the Central American Transmission System in Panama on Saturday, reported the Tico Times.

Countries affected by the outage included Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and parts of southern Mexico. The countries are all on the same power grid, which extends approximately 1,130 miles between Panama and Guatemala.

In Panama, the outage took effect while Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela was giving a speech to the country’s legislature.

In Costa Rica, 1.4 million homes and businesses were without power for five hours. Most traffic lights across the nation were down and police officers directed traffic throughout San Jose, the nation’s capital.

There were 71 reported accidents across the country during the power outage.

The outage was so vast across Costa Rica that all of its power plants lost power for hours at a time.

A similar power outage occurred in March, which left parts of Panama without electricity for as long as 16 hours. The outage also affected other Central American countries, including Nicaragua and Honduras.

The outage reportedly cost the Panamanian economy $1.3 million in lost revenue per hour.


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