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Latino Daily News

Monday December 23, 2013

Argentine Heat Wave Leaves Thousands Without Power

In the midst of a heat wave, thousands of Argentines living in the capital’s metropolitan area on Sunday are still without power, while demand for electricity keeps growing and reaching peak levels, the Federal Planning Ministry said.

The Argentine power grid set a new record for electricity demand on a Saturday when the consumption level reached 20.605 megawatts, the ministry said in a statement.

The new record exceeds the old one set last week, when power demand peaked at 20.287 MW.

The electricity consumption level is directly related to the high temperatures that have been registered all over the country for more than 10 days and the high level of economic activity, the ministry said.

Despite everything, however, “the system is operating normally and has an additional reserve of 4 megawatts,” the ministry said.

Complaints, protests and street blockades staged because of the power shortages, however, continued in some capital neighborhoods and in the surrounding metropolitan area.

The high temperatures which have been punishing central and northern Argentina for a week - often exceeding 35 C (95 F) - are raising electricity consumption in most homes as people try to beat the heat, a situation that has resulted in significant blackouts, many of which still have not been resolved.

The weather service forecasts that the coming days will see a sustained increase in temperatures through Dec. 25.

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