More About Last Night's Blackout


Fortunately for me I was already home cooking dinner on the 14th floor when the lights started to flicker around 10pm last night. Five minutes later, São Paulo was pitch black. Half an hour later, I learned through some of your emails that other seventeen Brazilian states and a portion of Paraguay were also in the dark. Thanks to our mobile devices, me and my bf spent our non-romantic candlelit dinner reading some of the funniest twitter updates ever (mostly related to Madonna in Rio and 2012 of course).

I have spent the morning reading about the power outage, and based on what national and international news sites are reporting, last night's blackout was caused by a breakdown in the national power grid, which in result shut down the Itaipu hydroelectric dam for the first time in history. In a statement, Itaipu said the cause of the blackout did not originate at the power plant itself. "The most-probable hypothesis is that there was an accident that affected one or more points in the transmission system." According to Energy Minister Edison Lobão, the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, whose output is shared with neighboring Paraguay, was possibly disconnected from the power grid because of severe thunderstorms. The breakdown in transmission resulted in a domino effect that hit other parts of the grid, and left over 60 million people in the dark for over two hours.

Itaipu is world's second-largest hydroelectric dam after China's Three Gorges, supplying nearly 20% of Brazil's power and 87% of Paraguay's electricity.

Btw, if you are still wondering what Madonna was doing in Rio with no electricity, she was apparently having dinner at Fasano's Al Mare.

I will be posting updates as the story develops. Watch a video of the lights going back to normal in Rio after the jump.

Power Returns To Brazil After Huge Blackout (WSJ)
Dam failure triggers huge blackout in Brazil (CNN)
Blackout darkens much of Brazil and Paraguay (NPR)
Brazil's 2 largest cities hit by massive blackouts (AP)
Itaipu diz em nota que causa do apagão não teve origem na usina (O Globo)
Apagão atinge diversas cidades do Brasil (UOL Notícias Fotos)


There is several pics of the blackout in Brazil - from Italy.

practically speaking, a huge widespread blackout would be scary from the point of view of crime outbreaks

Reminds me of the blackout here in NYC in 2003. It's a scary thing to realize how dependent we are on electricity and the means of producing it. I hope it all comes out well in the end and Brasil can start modernising its power grid delivery infrastructure.

Greg, when I first read about the blackout, what you alluded to came to my mind. I also have thought this way in terms of blackouts which have happened anywhere in our world!

But this particular one was of a huge magnitude!!!!!!!!!

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