Ecuador at night during blackout
Ecuador, currently suffering from a severe power shortage, has instituted rolling blackouts around the country
to save energy. Every day, different sectors of Quito and rural areas will have their power cut for from three to six hours. The local paper, El Comercio, has the schedule online
(http://ww1.elcomercio.com/default.asp) or in their printed edition. Hotels and most restaurants and nightlife are making the most of it, staying open and providing service (most stoves and ovens use gas and are unaffected, although refrigeration might be a concern). Ecuadorians are aware of the problem and will usually know when their sector is due for an outage. Important services such as hospitals have generators
, but in many areas traffic lights may be out
. The power shortage is due to low rainfall in the south where Ecuador’s lone electric plant operated off a dam: some estimate that the crisis may last months.