Much of Venezuela remained in the dark on Thursday night after a power failure in the afternoon that hit Caracas and more than 10 states, local media reported.
Traffic snarled across the capital and the subway closed, forcing commuters to trek home by foot.
Travelers also reported that the lights went out at Simon Bolivar International Airport near Caracas, the country’s largest.
On social media, users reported blackouts from the Andes to the Caribbean coast.
Speaking on the Telesur network in the evening, Venezuelan Minister of Information Jorge Rodriguez said that power had been restored in the entirety of the country’s eastern region after a “technical and cyber” attack against the Guri hydroelectric power system.
Power would be back across the country within hours, he said.
“Those who try by every means to provoke regime change in Venezuela will continue receiving the powerful response of the Venezuelan people,” Rodriguez said.
Public utility Corpoelec earlier said that electric generation at Venezuela’s Guri dam had been sabotaged.
The facility in southern Bolivar State powers almost two-third of the country.
“We have again been victims of an electricity war. This time, we have been attacked on the power generation and transmission side from Bolivar State, specifically the Guri, the backbone of power,” Venezuelan Minister of Electricity Luis Motta said on state TV.
Speaking just after 6pm, Motta said that service would be restored in about three hours.
Rolling blackouts and water shortages have become a near-daily occurrence across Venezuela as infrastructure falls into disarray after years of mismanagement and exodus of personnel.
Industry analysts have said that the electrical crisis is due to neglect amid the country’s economic collapse.
The capital was submerged in darkness after sundown.
In eastern Caracas, people banged pots and pans in protest and yelled “Maduro!” from their balconies as part of a game where the listeners respond with an expletive.
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