Argentine capital suffers blackouts in heat wave

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Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 9:02 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's power grid can't handle the heat.

Power outages are plaguing Buenos Aires as temperatures soar above 95 degrees (35 Celsius) and everyone tries to turn on their air conditioners at once.

Thousands in the capital and its suburbs are without power or water, since many buildings depend on pumps for water pressure. Complaints are spreading over social networks and neighbors are joining street protests.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich says blackouts will likely continue. He puts the blame on energy companies, saying they've failed to invest in improvements. Government critics say years of energy subsidies and price freezes have left the industry unprofitable.

Capitanich says the government has added 10,000 megawatts to the grid in the last decade, but the country's demand is outpacing the system's capacity.

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