- Residents in San Diego, northern Venezuela, shared videos of black water running out of their taps following a week-long power outage.
- They said the water “looks like oil” and “smells bad.”
- Venezuela’s blackout, which shut down water pumps, is receeding.But many states are still affected, facing rotten food and store lootings.
- Embattled President Nicolás Maduro said he is providing food and water to affected people and blamed the outage on US cyber warfare, though that is disputed by experts.
People in northern Venezuela shared images of their taps running with black liquid on Wednesday after a power outage shut off the country’s water supply for days.
Venezuela is entering the seventh day of a major blackout that is still affecting many states, and has subjected locals to rotten food, store lootings, and limited internet access, according to CNN Español. States where power is returning were still facing intermittent blackouts on Wedneday.
Caracas residents collected water from sewage drains when water pumps were shut down during the power cut, Reuters reported.
In San Diego, Carabobo, social media users documented the moment their taps started working on Wednesday morning. The water was jet black and contaminated.
— Zoyla Mesa (@damiana0804) March 13, 2019
Bueno, esto lo acabo de grabar yo, hoy #13Mar en San Diego, Carabobo. No me vengan con pendejadas de ''SABOTEO''. El único saboteo que tenemos se llama CHAVISMO que es una desgracia. pic.twitter.com/h4ihKJ5fP1
— Carlos Castillo V (@Carlos_lasek) March 13, 2019
San Diego resident Carlos Castillo, who said on Twitter that he filmed the video himself, blamed the legacy of socialist leader Hugo Chávez in his recording.
“This beauty is our new oil supply,” he joked.
Venezuela has one of the largest oil supplies in the world, which long funded Chávez’s social programs like free medical coverage. But economic mismanagement and slumping oil prices sent the nation into a downward spiral.
Under Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, the humanitarian and political crises worsened. The blackout is now affecting a population that experiences chronic food and medicine shortages.
Julio Cesar, an interior designer, shared a video that he said his mother sent him, in which she complained about the contaminated water the state sanitation service Hidrocapital is providing.
“It smells terrible,” she said.
— Julio Cesar ???? (@JulioAPolizzi) March 13, 2019
— Arepita (@SoyArepita) March 13, 2019
The power outage has intensified the standoff between Maduro and Juan Guaidó, the self-declared interim president trying to oust him.
Maduro blamed the blackout on a cyber attack orchestrated by the US and oppositions forces. He said the government is aiding affected people by distributing food packages, and creating a plan to sell water tanks, American Spanish-language news outlet Univision reported.
But Guaidó and energy experts disputed his account and said the power grid was neglected because the government did not maintain it properly and corrupt officials squandered investments.
Guaidó said that the only solution is for Maduro to resign and international aid to come in.