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NASA satellites shine a light on Venezuelan blackouts

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By Rafael Cereceda  & Michael-Ross Fiorentino, Emma Beswick
NASA satellites shine a light on Venezuelan blackouts
Copyright  NASA/ Worldview   -  

Recent blackouts, which have left swathes of Venezuela in the dark, can now be seen on images from NASA satellites.

The footage in the above video player tracks the area surrounding Caracas and Valencia over the course of 10 days, from March 2 until March 12.

On March 3, light can be seen surrounding the capital

Fast forward to March 8 and the difference in light is evident

The time-lapse shows improvements from March 8 to March 12 with many Venezuelans hoping the rolling blackouts will stop.

Venezuelan officials reported blackouts easing in some areas Tuesday, according to AP news agency.

However, people on Twitter reported that the blackout wasn't over in some parts of the country, with one user telling Euronews: "Only Caracas and a few other cities have electric power."

NASA images from Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela show that power has not yet been fully restored in the city.

City of Maracaibo March 3 - March 12

On the ground, tensions continued to rise as the government of Nicolás Maduro blamed the blackout on a cyber attack and international sabotage.

The country's Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said opposition leader Juan Guaido was being investigated for allegedly sabotaging the national power grid.

The National Assembly declared a state of emergency Guaido, ordered the suspension of fuel supplies to Cuba because it was "required for electrical system equipment to function".

The US government, which recognises Juan Guaidó as the country's de facto leader, decided to withdraw staff from its embassy in Caracas this week.