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System hitch causes widespread blackout in Chile

(Xinhua)

12:28, September 25, 2011

SANTIAGO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- A widespread power outage plagued central and northern Chile Saturday night, including the capital Santiago, authorities said.

The National Emergency Office of Chile (Onemi) has identified a malfunction in the Central Intercontectado System(CIS), which provide electricity supply to 93 percent of the population, as the cause of the blackout that occurred just after 2030 local time (2330 GMT), local radio Biobio reported.

Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez said via his Twitter account that "we are checking the causes and problems. We will report once we get detailed information."

In Santiago, the Metro System said it was still evacuating passengers affected by the power outrage while police responded with more patrols to prevent possible crimes during the blackout.

Latest media reports said power was being restored in the south of the capital, quoting the nation's main electricity supplier Chilectra.

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