Blackouts hit Chile


Lights out in Santiago.


MArtin Bernetti

Chile suffered its third blackout in as many days yesterday.

On Saturday, a blackout affected half of the country's 17 million people. Then on Sunday, there was a blackout near the port city of Valparaiso, and yesterday, another one in northern Chile, reports the AP.

Saturday's blackout halted work in Chile's copper mines. Chile is the world's largest copper producer.

Reuters reports that it will take years for the country to revamp its electrical grid.

A combination of last year's earthquake, a drought in hydropower-producing regions and years of underinvestment have made the energy grid susceptible to frequent glitches, writes Reuters.

Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez announced last night that the utilities companies risk facing up to $9 million in fines.