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Surprising Science

Brazil Blackout

Brazil’s major cities were plunged into darkness last night after a large scale power outage.

Power supplies in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other major Brazilian cities were cut off for over two hours late last night after transmission problems knocked the region’s supplier hydroelectric dams offline. Traffic stopped, aeroplanes were grounded and chaos reigned in the darkened streets. The outage has prompted concern among residents so soon after the country was awarded the hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games and all the infrastructure development that comes hand in hand with it. “The image of Brazil, of Rio, is bad enough with all the violence,” 35-year-old graphic designer Paulo Viera told Press Association, as he sat in a restaurant a block from the sandy arc of Copacabana. He said he worried about how the outage might look for a city that last month was picked to host the 2016 Olympics and will be the showcase city for soccer’s World Cup in 2014. “We don’t need this to happen. I don’t know how it could get worse.”


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