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 Home  |  Email  |  About Us - San José, Costa Rica  -   Friday 20 April 2007

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¡Apagon! (Black out)
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¡Apagon! (Black out)
Costa Rica fell into darkness last night shortly after 8:00pm, cutting electrical power to every corner in the country for more than three hours in some places, when power was restored to all areas by 11:30pm.

The only lights visible in San José was in those buildings that had generators and vehicles stuck in traffic intersections as the majority of traffic lights were out as well.

The event occurred with flicker a few minutes after 8pm, many believing this was part of the rationing announced earlier in the day by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), soon the realization hit that is not a rationing move, but rather the entire country was in darkness.

ICE had been cutting power throughout the day and times, rotating the affected areas, so as to distribute the current energy problems throughout the San José area.

The rationing is to continue until Saturday between the hours of  9:00am and 8:00pm. as ICE makes repairs to its three thermal plants in Moín, Limón, San Antonio de Belén and Barranca, Puntarenas.

However, last nights blackout was a separate incident and ICE officials were quick to say that is was not due to lack of maintenance.

The problem, it appears, is a failure at a the Arenal power station that takes hydro, thermal and wind generated power from all over Guanacaster and distributes to the entire country.

Salvador López, director of the, Centra Naciónal de Distribución de Energía, said that once the Arenal station goes out it is difficult to avoid a total collapse of the energy system.

Geovanni Bonilla, a spokesperson for ICE, said last night that an explosion in a transformer at the Arenal station was the cause and not related to the rationing.

López added that before the blackout the resources of the institution has been at the limit, as three thermal plants down are part of plan B, working as a backup for the main network.





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