Rationing of electricity has been imposed in six states in Venezuela, as the country suffered a power crisis this week. Hydroelectric power generators witnessed a significant reduction in the water levels of their reservoirs, and that has left the country suffering power droughts.
The power outages have been formally arranged to last hours and started on Thursday. However, a lot residents have ridiculed the move as they pointed out that during the last week, they have suffered blackouts that have lasted far longer than the current ones.
Ligthia Marrero, a 50-year old woman, said that they suffered through a 14-hour outage of electricity in a day this week, and a 6-hour one the day before. Ligitha is a resident of San Cristobal which is a western state, and she added that frequently occurring interruptions had left her fridge damaged.
Venezuela is not new to shortages in power supply because of lack of resources and a disintegrated infrastructure, and the diminishing rains have only added to the problems of the residents.
The country is a member of the OPEC organization but, that has not been able to stop a nation of 30 million people, from suffering an extreme recession and hyperinflation. Business has stopped altogether in the most affected western cities of the country. Furthermore, Malnutrition has been a problem, as an emergence of a black market, has made food difficult to afford on salaries that are just a couple of dollars per month. As a result, supermarkets have been crowded with beggars, and people digging through trash have become a common sight, while others have started to emigrate from the country.
The frequent blackouts have also caused businesses to take a hit, as the stores stop working during the outages, according to Maybelin Mendoza, a cashier at a bakery in the state of Tachira.
Some people have suffered worse consequences, as according to an opposition governor of Tachira state, as three people have lost their lives. According to Laidy Gomez – the governor, they weren’t provided the assistance needed to revive them as a result of the electrical outages, as a four-month-old was among the dead.
The rumors of the interruptions continuing on for a period of at least two weeks, have now been confirmed by the authorities. However, they did not provide information regarding the planned shortages being implemented in other states.
According to Luis Motta, the country’s Energy Minister, the state was only producing 150 megawatts out of a possible 1,100. She was referring to the dam named Fabricio Ojeda, which is located in western Andean state of Merida, while talking to reporters.
Nearly two years ago, Guri dam, which is the largest hydroelectric dam in the country, suffered a drought which resulted in rationing protocols for a period of five months. The country has also seen a decline in the consumption allowed during the peak hours in that two year period.
The country’s capital city Carcas, and some other major cities, have not been the subject of power rationing yet.