A huge power cut in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires caused a blackout to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses on Tuesday and brought metro lines to a standstill. The blackout also occurred when the country's medicine and pharmaceutical regulator extended an emergency authorization to the Pfizer BioTechN vaccine.
Power company Edesur said about one million people in the south-central area of the city were affected.
The outage was traced back to a fire at a substation, it said.
Power cuts are not uncommon in Buenos Aires in summer, usually caused by hot weather creating surges in demand.
In June 2019, a massive electrical failure left tens of millions of people in the dark in Argentina and also in neighboring Uruguay.
The latest incident briefly stopped trains running on at least two metro lines, reports said. Traffic lights stopped working in more than a dozen districts, causing gridlock.
The city's fire service confirmed that it had tackled a fire near an electricity substation and pictures on social media showed smoke rising from the ground next to a pylon.
By Tuesday evening supplies had been restored to nearly all customers, Edesur said.
Last October, Energy Minister Darío Martínez told local media that Buenos Aires residents could expect many power cuts which he attributed to a lack of investment.
For years during the second mandate of president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, public utility rates, including power, were highly subsidized, with consumers paying only 20% of the real bill while the rest fed a huge red hole, which however enabled the populist leader to ensure her grip over 35% of the electoral vote.