A record heatwave has hit Argentina, with temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the country. The associated surge in energy demand caused grid failures, resulting in power outages.
At least 700,000 people were without power in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, as residents of the Argentine capital endured sweltering temperatures during a historic heatwave.
Power companies blamed the outages on a massive surge in energy demand, which in turn led to technical glitches and blackouts. The power outage came as temperatures in the capital rose above 41 degrees Celsius.
The 41.1C recorded at 4.05pm local time on Tuesday was the second-highest reading in the capital since 1906, according to the city government. Temperatures are expected to remain high on Thursday and Friday before finally cooling on Sunday.
“We have to be very careful these days,” Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said local leaders warned people to stay out of the sun and stay hydrated.
“This is a heatwave with extraordinary characteristics, with extreme temperature values that will be analyzed even after it’s completed, and it may yield some historical records of Argentina’s temperatures and sustained high temperatures,” he said. Meteorologist Lucas Belengua told Reuters.
The heatwave, the country’s highest since 1957, was driven by La Niña weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean.
Argentina is currently the hottest place in the world, with daily maximum temperatures surpassing Australia. Water levels in the Paraná River also fell to their lowest level in nearly 80 years due to lack of rainfall.
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