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Massive power cut in Chile

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Massive power cut in Chile

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Chile was plunged into darkness late Sunday when a power cut left most of the country without electricity.

The blackout affected 80 percent of Chile’s 17 million population and even cut short a benefit concert in the capital of Santiago for the victims of last month’s earthquake.

Officials appealed to Chileans to remain calm; the power failure comes a fortnight after an 8.8 tremor killed hundreds of people.

Army General Guillermo Ramirez said his forces would step up on the streets of Concepcion, the city close to the earthquake’s epicentre, to reassure local people.

The area affected covered 2,000 kilometers from the north of Santiago to Puetro Montt in the south.

The power failure shows the fragility of the country’s infrastructure and is another test for Chile’s new president, Sebastian Pinera, as he looks to rebuild after the February 27 quake.