SAO PAULO (AFP) – On Wednesday, Brazil sought to uncover the cause of a massive and mysterious blackout overnight amid concerns of energy supply stability for the 2016 Olympics host nation.
The outage lasted around four hours and plunged nearly half the country into darkness after the country's biggest power plant experienced supply problems.
An estimated 70 million people -- more than a third of Brazil's 190-million-strong population -- were affected, according to the energy ministry, mainly in the major southern cities, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The blackout occurred two nights after the U.S. television network CBS broadcast a report in which unidentified former U.S. national security officials claimed massive power outages in Brazil in 2005 and 2007 were caused by cyber hackers attacking control systems.
Although Brazilian media were skeptical of that assessment, the U.S. channel said those incidents should serve as a wake-up call to the United States, which could see its own power supplies hit by computer sabotage.