Fires burn in the streets of Buenos Aires as residents protest over power cuts caused by the record-breaking heatwave, 30 December 2013. Photo: Reuters

30 December 2013 (BBC News) – Main roads to the Argentine capital Buenos Aires have been blocked by people protesting against power cuts.

They are demanding government action on shortages that have been affecting many parts of the city.

Residents set fire to rubbish bags and tyres on the roads, causing long traffic jams as many left the capital for the New Year festivities.

The authorities are blaming the energy crisis on Buenos Aires' worst heatwave in decades, with temperatures over 38C.

Some neighbourhoods have been without power for two weeks, with a marked increase in the use of air conditioning. […]

Argentina's ageing power grid has been struggling to keep up with demand.

The government is supplying emergency help for those in need amidst the high temperatures. […]

On Sunday night, electricity demand reached a record high for a non-working day, as residents turned on fans and air conditioning units in an attempt to cool down homes.

City officials held emergency meetings with federal officials on Sunday in an effort to co-ordinate assistance to those left without power for days.

An estimated 11.000 people still had no electricity over the weekend. Hundreds of thousands had suffered power cuts over the preceding weeks.

The heatwave is reported to be the worst to hit the city in 40 years. [more]

Buenos Aires residents protest over 'heatwave power cuts'

2 January 2014 (Latino Daily News) – With the drop in temperatures, the Argentine capital began to leave behind the country’s worst heat wave in 107 years and to normalize its electricity service after an energy crisis marked by blackouts and mutual recriminations between the government and the utility companies.

Hardest hit was Argentina’s north, where the thermometer reached 50°C (122°F) and eight deaths were blamed on the heat wave.

The National Weather Service predicted a maximum temperature of 33°C (91°F) for Wednesday in Greater Buenos Aires and 28°C (82°F) for Thursday.

With the easing of the heat wave, energy consumption also declined and utilities companies were able to resolve a large portion of the supply problems that had cropped up in recent weeks affecting some 800,000 people.

By Tuesday night, electric service had been restored “to 98 percent of the users” who were affected by power outages in the Buenos Aires metro area, the Security Ministry said.

The falloff in energy consumption also has been helped by the exodus of capital residents to seaside and summer vacation areas.

More than 1,000 automobiles per hour on Wednesday morning were traversing the highway linking the Argentine capital with the country’s main coastal tourist destinations, the National Highway Safety Agency reported. […]

The power cuts have resulted in millions of dollars in losses during the Christmas holiday season to businesses in Greater Buenos Aires, where some 15 million people live. [more]

Heat Wave Subsides in Argentina



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