Blackout hits oil-producing state in Venezuela

 24 Oct 2017 - 18:11

Blackout hits oil-producing state in Venezuela
The logo of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is seen next to a mural depicting late President Hugo Chavez at a gas station in Caracas, March 2, 2017 (Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins)


Caracas:  A blackout left parts of Venezuela's oil-producing and most populous state of Zulia without power Tuesday, the government said.

Electrical Power Minister Luis Motta blamed the outage, which hit Venezuela's second-largest city Maracaibo, on sabotage.

He said there was an explosion at an electrical substation in a town called El Tablazo in Zulia, which is in western Venezuela.

But he did not say who might have been behind the alleged sabotage, which he often cites as the cause of frequent outages in economically stricken Venezuela.

The latest blackout started overnight Monday and continued at least partially into Tuesday, with power being gradually restored in some places, the national electric company said.

Ana de Zambrano, who lives in Maracaibo, said outages are common in her city and the government line is always the same.

"The electricity goes out on us as many as eight times a day for a few seconds and even as long as half an hour. It comes and goes. They always say it is sabotage," de Zambrano said.