One of the most severe power outages in Venezuelan history ravaged the country for a second day Friday, with hospital patients languishing in the dark, most supermarkets closed and phone service largely knocked out in the oil-rich but economically collapsing country.
Venezuela has been hit by power outages before. But the blackout that began Thursday evening is the longest and most widespread in recent memory, a sign of the rapid deterioration of the economy, which is expected to contract sharply in the next few weeks as U.S. sanctions on the oil industry begin to bite. Some analysts even worry that the country — once among the richest in South America — could face famine.
Power began to flicker on in Caracas and other parts of the country Friday afternoon. But around the country, most stores and restaurants were closed, and few cars ventured into the streets. The outage also stalled refineries and oil plants, the source of nearly all Venezuela’s export revenue.
President Nicolás Maduro blamed the outage on sabotage by the U.S. government, which has backed an opposition effort to force out the authoritarian leader. He offered no evidence for the claim. He ordered schools and offices closed Friday.
“The power war announced and directed by U.S. imperialism against our people will be defeated,” Maduro wrote in a tweet late Thursday.
The state electricity company, Corpoelec, said there had been “sabotage” of the Guri hydroelectric complex in southern Bolivar state — the source of most of the country’s electricity.
No proof of any sabotage has been shown or spoken about.
It looks to some outsiders like someone got into the PLC controllers on the twelve gigawatt hydroelectric Guri dam. They attacked the systems that regulated water flow through the valves on the dam that send the water to the turbines.
This is precisely the type of attack Stuxnet is supposed to be made for. For those not familiar with the Stuxnet virus:
Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm, first uncovered in 2010. Thought to have been in development since at least 2005, Stuxnet targets SCADA systems and is believed to be responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program. Although neither country has openly admitted responsibility, the worm is believed to be a jointly built American/Israeli cyberweapon.
Stuxnet specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which allow the automation of electromechanical processes such as those used to control machinery and industrial processes including centrifuges for separating nuclear material, and power plant turbines.
It now appears that in Venezuela, "something" opened the water flow valves at the hydroelectric dam all the way. They (or whatever virus they planted, probably Stuxnet) then told the engineers, via the readouts, that the water flows and turbine speeds were normal.
With an enormous amount of pressure from the dam, the turbines managed to push ahead of phase on the rest of Venezuela's grid, got into an enormous tug-of-war with power stations elsewhere (after viruses also turned the protection off) and blew everything up, tripping a nationwide blackout with long term severe damage.
We just got to see what Stuxnet could do to the world's third largest power plant. Several Venezuelans managed to tweet out that the turbines at Guri went over frequency, those tweets have now been expunged. Only willful sabotage could have done that.
HUNDREDS DEAD IN HOSPITALS ALREADY
Hundreds of patients in Venezuelan Hospital Intensive Care Units have died in the last 24 hours, after electricity powering their respirators, failed. The hospitals apparently did not have emergency generators.
Frozen foods in storage warehouses has already begun to thaw and rot.
Food in the refrigerators of millions of Venezuelans is starting to rot.
Without electric, gas stations cannot pump fuel for vehicles. Cars, trucks and buses which have run out of fuel are abandoned on almost every street in the country.
Telephone networks went down when the electric went out. Cellphone towers which switched to battery back-up, have now all gone dead. Thus, there is no way to communicate right now in Venezuela.
How would YOU deal with this?
Now . . . what if this happened HERE -- in America? How would YOU get through it? Do YOU have a generator to keep your food from rotting? Do YOU have a CB radio to communicate with family or friends if all communications systems go down? Do YOU have spare fuel for your car or truck? Do you even have a fuel gas can?????
Here is a list of suggested "preps" you may wish to begin accumulating little by little. If YOU fail to prep, YOU will get what the people of Venezuela are getting if the same thing happens here!