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Power Outages Return in Ecuador, Prompting Citizen Annoyance

Although the Government of Ecuador announced the end of power cuts in February, indicating the dry season had passed, blackouts have returned to several provinces since Sunday, causing frustration among citizens.

Residents from various parts of the country reported unscheduled power outages, claiming they were not informed in advance. Problems such as lack of public lighting, traffic lights being turned off, traffic chaos, and businesses struggling due to lack of power supply were reported. Citizens took to social media to express their anger and displeasure over the outages.

On Monday night, the Ministry of Energy released a statement confirming temporary rationing to manage demand at the national level. They acknowledged unprecedented circumstances affecting the country’s energy system.

The Ministry attributed the power shortages to factors such as extended drought, increased temperatures, lack of past maintenance of electrical infrastructure, and historically low flow levels leading to activation of all available generation plants.

Energy distribution companies are expected to inform the public about the timing of power outages to prevent compromising energy supply for everyone, the Ministry cautioned.

The National Electric Corporation, on behalf of the Government, responded to user reports of electricity shortages on social media, promising to address the issue.

Prior to reports of blackouts, the Ministry of Energy and Mines stated on social media that they are working on optimizing energy sources to ensure a continuous, safe, and reliable energy supply.

Since Monday, the Ministry of Energy and electricity supply companies in various provinces have called on citizens to conserve energy.

The Quito Electric Company attributed reported outages to emergency maintenance, stating that teams are working to resolve the issues promptly.

Minister of Energy Andrea Arrobo announced over a week ago that “emergency disconnections” could occur due to ongoing electricity generation problems. She mentioned that Colombia had restricted energy sales to Ecuador due to its own reservoir-related issues.

Colombia’s Energy Minister Andrés Camacho confirmed that they had halted energy exports to Ecuador during Holy Week due to reaching maximum generation capacity with thermal power.

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