Drought causes power cuts in Ecuador

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In Ecuador, a severe drought has caused power cuts because the country relies on hydroelectricity for much of its electricity. Major cities, including the capital, have been experiencing hours-long blackouts. The drought has also led to water rationing in nearby Colombia. This lack of rain in the Andean region is connected to the El Niño weather pattern.

To manage the situation, energy companies in Ecuador have implemented scheduled power cuts lasting between two to five hours. The energy ministry explained that several unusual circumstances, like the drought and increased temperatures, have affected Ecuador’s power system. Additionally, Colombia stopped exporting energy to Ecuador to prioritize its own needs during the drought, worsening the power shortage.

Initially, Ecuador’s energy minister had rejected the idea of electricity rationing. However, after unexpected power cuts over the weekend, energy companies were asked to publish schedules for planned outages. President Daniel Noboa mentioned “saboteurs” without providing details, warning that anyone involved would be seen as a threat to national security. He also replaced the energy minister and stated that there would be no more blackouts for the week.

The new energy minister, Roberto Luque, cautioned that there are no quick fixes to Ecuador’s energy crisis. Meanwhile, in Colombia, the drought linked to El Niño has caused water levels in reservoirs to drop dangerously low. As a result, water rationing has been implemented in most neighborhoods in Bogotá, and residents are urged to limit their showers to four minutes or less. Those wasting water by washing cars face hefty fines.

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