SAN SALVADOR, July 8 (Reuters) – The economic cost of a regional power outage in Central America on Wednesday was estimated at around $18.2 million, the head of the region’s electricity operator EOR said on Thursday, identifying two failures behind it.
The Wednesday afternoon outage took power completely offline in Honduras and Nicaragua, with additional impacts felt in Guatemala and El Salvador.
“This was a severe failure that affected the whole Central American region,” EOR Executive Director Rene Gonzalez said, noting that at its peak the outage caused power supply to fall by more than a third as it created a significant imbalance.
Speaking to Reuters, Gonzalez pointed to a failure at the key Amarateca Toncontin transmission line in Honduras and a subsequent overload at the Brillantes electrical substation near the Mexico-Guatemala border that led to a “voltage collapse.”
Gonzalez said that residential and business users that saw their power supply cut for five hours in Nicaragua and four hours in Honduras bore the brunt of the losses.
In other countries, power cuts ranged from just a few minutes to around an hour and a half, he added.
Overall, an estimated 15 million users across Central America were impacted by power cuts, the EOR said.
Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler
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