Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego was forced on Monday to close down government offices, suspend classes and impose a blackout rotation program following a serious leak from the natural gas pipeline which is the main source of power for the Argentine extreme south province capital.
The news from Ushuaia is that the measures will also apply on Tuesday, since all the equipment and experts needed to fix the pipeline only arrived in the capital late Monday. The rupture occurred 70 kilometers north of Ushuaia.
Finally today all the equipment required by the company in charge of the repair operation has arrived so hopefully tomorrow we will be announcing good news, said deputy provincial governor Juan Carlos Arcando late Monday.
Nevertheless on Tuesday the blackout chronogram has been confirmed, while the head of the Tierra del Fuego tourist office Luis Castelli, together with governor Rosana Bertone appealed to Tourism minister Gustavo Santos in Buenos Aires, requesting support for a quick reply to the situation which is highly negative for the tourism industry.
A Hercules C-130 from the Argentine Air Force was dispatched and is making the support flights with the equipment and experts.
The pipeline was accidentally ruptured last Saturday by an excavator working in the area, and can now only pump gas at 40% capacity causing drastic reductions in residential supply but also in power generation, which led to the blackout chronogram, and closing down of government offices and schools.
Emergency diesel power generators have been turned on but they are not sufficient to meet full demand and electricity generation.