Massive power outage hits Argentina, Uruguay

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A major power outage has left parts of Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay in the dark (Getty) A sign, which usually displays the price of various types of gas electronically, stands without power during a blackout, in Buenos Aires.

Argentina said it isn't ruling out a cyberattack after what President Mauricio Macri called an "unprecedented" power blackout struck five South American countries on Sunday.

Argentine energy company Edesur said on Twitter that it was "slowly beginning to restore" electricity, and power had been returned to more than 1.5 million customers as of early Sunday afternoon, at least some of whom were in the capital.

The cause of the outage was still unclear as of late morning, but Argentina´s energy agency said in a statement it had begun an investigation.

It came as people in parts of Argentina were preparing to go to the polls for local elections.

Argentinian energy company Edesur confirmed on Twitter that all of Argentina and Uruguay had been affected by the outage.

Hallways of Buenos Aires's subway are lit only by emergency lights.

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Reporting from Buenos Aires, Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo said some traffic lights and trains were working in the capital but that power had not been fully restored.

The cause of the blackout was not immediately clear.

Uruguayan energy company UTE said 75 per cent of service had been restored in its country.

Argentinian newspaper La Nacion on Sunday reported that Brazil and Chile had also been affected.

"There are already coastal cities with service and work continues toward general restoration", it said.

"Never in my life have I seen such a big power cut", another user wrote. "Never such a large blackout in the whole country". Tierra del Fuego is the only area that remains unaffected.

Among the affected provinces in Argentina were Santa Fe, San Luis, Formosa, La Rioja, Chubut, Cordoba and Mendoza, reports said. He has cut red tape, and tried to reduce the government's budget deficit by ordering job cuts and reducing utility subsidies, which he maintained was necessary to recuperate lost revenue due to years-long mismanagement of the electricity sector.

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