The Associated Press
December 11, 2008
CARACAS, Venezuela -- A power outage briefly left much of Venezuela's capital and surrounding suburbs without electricity on Thursday, snarling traffic and stranding people in elevators.
The outage hit about 4:00 p.m, prompting authorities to temporarily close Caracas' subway and evacuate commuters.
Javier Alvarado, president of the Caracas Electricity Company, told state-run television that officials were investigating the cause of the blackout.
The suburbs of Guatire and Guarenas, along with the coastal state of Vargas, also lost electricity, Alvarado said.
Globovision news channel reported that some stoplights in Caracas went dark, causing chaos at busy intersections. Caracas Fire Chief Delio Martinez told Globovision that some people were temporarily stuck in elevators.
Electricity gradually began returning to parts of the capital after about 50 minutes.
There were no immediate reports of problems in Venezuela's key oil industry. The nation's refineries are equipped with emergency power generators.
Thursday's blackout was Venezuela's fourth major outage this year.