15 Mar 2010

Quake-damaged Chile hit by power blackout

7:02 pm on 15 March 2010

A major blackout has left most of Chile without power for hours, two weeks after a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people and weakened infrastructure.

Electricity was restored quickly, but the failure of the country's main power grid was another test for conservative President Sebastian Pinera, who took office last week and must rebuild after the huge earthquake.

The power cut rattled the nerves of Chileans still living with aftershocks following the deadly 8.8 magnitude quake on 27 February.

Authorities say the blackout was due to a problem with a 500 kilowatt transformer.