Venezuelan Capital Plunged into Darkness During Business Day Power Outage

August 03, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

It’s one thing when a power outage hits a relatively localized area, though it still can cause challenges for businesses and residents.  But, when an outage hits a major city, the problems, dangers, and confusion are compounded exponentially.  That was the case earlier this week, when downed power main cut power to most of Caracas, Venezuela along with parts of two neighboring states, Miranda and Vargas.  Caracas is home to more than 7 million residents.

The mid-morning outage lasted several hours and effectively shut down most businesses for its duration.  Businesses, including banks, restaurants, and transportation systems all had to shut down operations and sent throngs of employees scurrying from their offices into the streets, though some were stuck in elevator banks.  As a result of the widespread outage, cellular communications were also difficult.

The downed power main was in a remote national park making access difficult from repair crews, which, coupled with heavy rainstorms, delayed power restoration.  Most of the area was back to normal by the afternoon.  Thanks to emergency generators kicking in, Simon Bolivar International Airport did not experience service delays.

Backup power sources are a great option for ensuring operational continuity during outages.  But, businesses should also support their technology investments with power protection systems to avoid any damage to systems during outages, or when power is restored – either from the main lines or generators.  The systems are designed to regulate currents into businesses so surges and spikes don’t damage circuits that make today’s sensitive technology function. 

Servers, switches, communications systems, and other business technology are all full of tiny microcircuits that are susceptible to damage from power surges, and can require expensive and lengthy repairs.  Businesses without backup generators can install power protection systems with longer runtimes to keep systems operational for shorter outages, at a minimum, keeping customer-facing resources active.  Cloud-based communications systems can ensure staff are able to work from remote locations and, combined with UPS systems, can keep businesses fully functional.

Edited by Erik Linask