Unplugged

Brazil's Massive Blackout

Brazil is a bright place Wednesday morning after Tuesday’s power outage plunged half of the nation's 190 million people into darkness for at least two hours. At 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday after transmission failed at the Itaipu Binacional hydroelectric dam—one of the world's largest dams by output—affecting 12 of the nation's 26 states, the Federal District, and all of neighboring Paraguay. The massive power outage shut down Rio de Janeiro's international airport, closed subway systems in San Paulo and Rio, disrupted telephone transmissions, caused traffic accidents and jams, and allowed thieves to carry out assaults on city streets. The executive secretary of Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry called "unique" and attributed to weather conditions, although the government is still investigating.