72-year-old Elizabeth Guzman Espitia holds a candle in herwindowless room she calls her “little cave” during a blackout in the Santa Cruz of the East neighborhood, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 14, 2019. I’ve never see a crisis like this. It’s the first time,” Espitia said. “It makes me so sad.” Venezuela’s power grid crashed March 7, throwing almost all of the oil-rich nation’s 30 million residents into chaos for nearly a week. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Engineer: Satellite suggests fire caused Venezuela outage

March 15, 2019 - 5:27 pm

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — In the week since a massive blackout left millions in Venezuela without power, both the government and opposition have put forward disputing theories on what caused the outage without providing any evidence.

Now two Venezuelans with expertise in engineering and geospatial technologies say they've analyzed NASA satellite imagery indicating there were three fires within close proximity to transmission lines that could have crippled the electric grid.

The sleuths took data from a weather satellite that can detect thermal activity and superimposed it on Google Earth images to put together what may be the most concrete analysis yet of what transpired on March 7th.

"There is still a possibility that something else happened," said Jose Aguilar, an expert on Venezuela's electrical grid who coordinated the study. "But this is very incriminating."

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