Strange Case Of Widespread Argentina Blackout Raises Security Concerns
The widespread blackouts in parts of South America on Sunday have ignited debates regarding the possibility that governments can disrupt or intervene with power systems of other countries.
Multiple outlets reported that millions of residents in Argentina experienced massive outage although power has been restored in most of the affected areas. According to CNN, some rail stations such as one in Constitucion, Buenos Aires, was wrapped in darkness.
As of Monday, there has been no explanation regarding the blackouts. The lack of answers from the government has led some analysts and spectators to question whether the outage was a case of cybersecurity.
Argentina's Energy Secretary Gustavo Lopetegui dismissed the queries. "At this moment we do not rule out any possibilities but ... a cyber attack is not within the preliminary alternatives being considered," he stressed.
Some parts of southern Brazil and Chile, as well as extensive parts of Uruguay and Paraguay, were also affected since Argentina's grid is connected to the said regions. Argentine utility distributor Edenor said the interconnection system experienced a "collapse" early Sunday.
Twitter user Lucas Rodriguez posted a video of how the behemoth blackout looked like in the Argentine capital. Rodriguez also told the outlet that while there was no power, residents had internet connections on their smartphones.
The strange circumstances have since ignited talks about how much control governments have over other nations, to the point that they can intervene with electricity and probably other utilities.
Aside from raging doubts about the potential weakness and vulnerability of South America's power grids, some people have also criticized Argentine President Mauricio Macri. The Argentine leader said there is no immediate answer to date and investigations could go on for 10 to 15 days, the Associated Press reported.
While Lopetegui said cybersecurity has been ruled out, he did acknowledge that the blackouts were "very serious." He pledged that an outage as huge as the one during the weekend will not happen again in the future.
Some thousands of Argentine residents said power was not yet restored on Monday, further causing a stir among people who questioned Macri's leadership and the "astronomical rates" that power providers demanded.
Other spectators raised the issue of potential infrastructural lapses in Argentina's power grids. According to Deutsche Welle, transmissions between Nueva Campana and Colonia Elia power plants are still in limbo. The connection was disrupted two months ago.
The government has yet to provide solid answers as residents continue to question the Argentine power grid's ability to withstand potential attacks from the outside. Observers, on the other hand, are unsure how to dissect the strange South American blackout.