Ecuadorian towns in the Amazon region have been reported to be undergoing power outages that might drag on at least until December if current drought conditions are to persist, according to local authorities. The power cuts have caused havoc and traffic chaos in a country where violence reigns supreme and darkness only adds to the insecurity condition.
As water levels in the Brazilian Amazon have fallen to historic lowest levels in the past 5 years, the crisis is spreading to neighboring countries.
In that scenario, Ecuador is going through blackouts to cut down consumption from the main hydroelectric plant in the region as supply has been reduced to about 460 megawatts per day.
But we are living through the worst drought not seen in the last 50 years. In addition, consumption has grown by 15% and power generation is insufficient to cover it, President Guillermo Lasso wrote on social networks.
The Government also announced that the blackouts might span through at least early December and would last four hours a day in the highlands and Amazon regions sometime between 7 am and 6 pm.
The energy shortage also delivered a tough blow to restauranteurs who had to dispose of unusual quantities of food after failing to maintain refrigeration chains.
To cover the electricity deficit, the Government announced a US$ 160 million investment to contract emerging energy sources and import natural gas to feed thermoelectric plants.