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Protests Erupt In Dominican Republic Over Power Outages

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Widespread blackouts that began in the Dominican Republic last week have persisted over the past few days in parts of the country. As a result, people have taken to the streets to express their anger over the issue, including in Santiago, the country’s second-largest city. According to the area’s power company Edenorte, maintenance work is being carried out on several large generators.

Power lines

Residents across the Dominican Republic have dealt with power outages and rolling blackouts for over a week. The issue, according to utility companies, has to do with maintenance works and repairs to the electrical grid. For some, however, the problems have gone on for too long. After intense complaints on social media, protesters have taken to the streets demanding the problem be fixed. 

Traffic jam

Although blackouts have been reported around the island, the Cibao region in the north of the country has seen the most significant number of disruptions. Home to some of the country’s most populated cities, it consumes the most energy. 

Santo Domingo

Protesters in Santiago and surrounding areas have been especially vocal about the issue. Last night, smoke was seen in some cities as angry citizens burned car tires and toppled trash cans. Some roads were also blocked as a result, interrupting traffic. Protesters claim that the constant outages make it difficult to cool their homes or keep foods refrigerated, among other issues. Some of the most affected areas include Moca, Montrecristi, Salcedo, and Santiago.  

Santiago

This Tuesday, neighborhoods such as Pekín, Hoya del Caimito, Matanza, the historical district, as well as Santiago De Caballeros reported a blackout that lasted from early morning until 4 PM. Santiago’s old town was especially affected as traffic lights stopped working and traffic agents had to be put on busy streets to direct traffic.

According to some residents, power outages of up to eight hours have greatly disrupted citizens’ lives. Protesters claim that the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (Edenorte) is to blame, and have sought clarification on why blackouts are occurring during the early hours and evening periods. 

Power plants

“With the high temperatures in recent days, I had to wait until two in the morning to go to bed, when power was finally restored”, says Luis Rosario, who lives in the eastern district of the capital Santo Domingo. He isn’t the only one affected by the blackouts, which can affect entire neighborhoods simultaneously. 

Citizens are especially annoyed by the fact that the blackouts are occurring during the night and early morning. These critical hours see some of the highest energy consumption as people start their days or turn on air conditioning during the hot summer nights. 

Cables

Meanwhile, business owners are worried about the safety of their products. For those selling fresh produce or seafood – such as those found in markets across the country – even a temporary blackout can damage goods and lower sales. Refrigeration, which consumes a lot of energy, is especially important during the hot summer months. 

Maintenance Work Cited As Source Of Outages

The country’s major electricity company, the Northern Electricity Distribution Company Edenorte issued a statement on Twitter notifying users of ongoing maintenance work to its network. The company says that several of its major generators have been shut down over the past few days for routine maintenance work. As a result, it has had to manage electricity distribution, causing some users to temporarily lose power. 

Wind engird

Last week it was reported that power should be restored by the weekend as demand evened. However, outages have persisted and it is unclear how long they will last

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