Mexican Cities Plunged Into Darkness: National Blackout Crisis

Quintana Roo, along with several other regions, experienced a widespread blackout due to a national electricity shortage. The shortage was prompted by high temperatures and an inability to meet the increased demand. Cities such as Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Felipe Carrillo Puerto were left without power for several hours. The issue was first reported by citizens on social media, who voiced their frustration over the lack of electricity during a heatwave.

In Playa del Carmen, the situation escalated as residents of the In House neighborhood staged a protest by blocking several avenues. The protesters, unaware of the national emergency, were frustrated by the constant power outages, claiming they had been without electricity for over 48 hours. The protest took a turn when city hall officials, who had arrived to negotiate, were pushed away.

Social media was flooded with memes, complaints, and criticisms about the situation, which was mirrored in cities across the country, including:

  • Quintana Roo
  • San Luis Potosí
  • Mexico City
  • Hidalgo
  • Zacatecas
  • Veracruz
  • Puebla
  • State of Mexico
  • Chiapas
  • Querétaro
  • Guanajuato
  • Michoacán
  • Tamaulipas
  • Tabasco
  • Campeche

The National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) confirmed the crisis, attributing it to an unusual surge in electricity consumption. In a statement, Cenace revealed that the power generation capacity was affected from 16:04 hours, leading to widespread blackouts in various states nearly four hours later, around 19:40 hours.

RELATED ARTICLES  2024 Cyclone Alert: Yucatan Peninsula Braces for Impact

Cenace reported that it had to intermittently cut the electricity supply by 200 MW (0.4% of the demand at that time), putting the country in an Emergency Operating State for 48 minutes. The demand reduction allowed the 200 MW to be restored by 17:52 hours, ending the Emergency Operating State. However, the National Interconnected System remained on high alert.

Despite these measures, more power failures were recorded:

  • 18:53 h Malpaso U5 lost 135 MW.
  • 19:08 h The generation of Manuel Moreno Torres dropped from 300 MW to 50 MW.
  • 19:12 h Combined cycle San Lorenzo Potencia lost 380 MW.
  • 19:14 h Necaxa U5 lost 7 MW.
  • 19:14 h Poza Rica U2 lost 66 MW.
  • 19:18 h Altamira Cogeneration lost 356 MW.
  • 19:31 Valle de México U4 lost 105 MW.

Cenace described the situation as unusual and assured that it is working closely with the CFE and the affected power stations to resolve the issue.