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More than two million people in California are affected by blackouts amid an intense heat wave

Electricity prices register the highest levels in the last two years

California was declared a stage 3 emergency due to power shortages and the heat wave.

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

More of two million Californians were without power service for more than four hours on Friday and without the possibility of turning on the air conditioning after the record of several blackouts in the middle of a intense heat wave.

This is the first time that the state declares a stage 3 emergency since the shortage of electricity left the entity in the dark and forced the largest company in the state to fail in 2001. The blackouts are registered at the moment in which California lives a wave of intense heat that is forcing residents to stay home amid the pandemic of coronavirus.

According to a report by, a site that tracks power outages, half of customers were affected by 8:15 pm Friday. He Independent Operator of the California System (ISO) declared the emergency that left about 750,000 homes without energy service while the National Weather Service recorded temperatures that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) in San Francisco Bay and 103 degrees Fahrenheit in San José.

The network operators decided to carry out blackouts starting at 6:30 pm on Friday when they determined that California’s energy reserves had fallen below the critical threshold, as reported by Anne Gonzalez, ISO spokesperson to the agency Bloomberg.

Related: A catastrophic fuel spill in Russia put a region of the Arctic Circle in emergency.

There were also power outages of PG&E Corp and customers in El Dorado and San Mateo counties were the first affected by the lack of power. Due to the emergency the company did not warn customers in advance about the blackouts that lasted between 60 and 90 minutes on a rotating basis in mainly the north and center of the state of California.

The utility company Edison International Southern California left 132,000 customers without electricity starting at 7:45 p.m. The San Diego Electric and Gas Company of Sempra Energy reported that blackouts affected more than 58,700 customers in San Diego and Orange County.

International agencies have predicted one of the worst heat waves in more than a century that have affected from different parts of Europe while in the United States high temperatures are expected to continue at least until next week.

The new power outages in California They occur less than a year in which services were interrupted to millions of customers to prevent power lines from catching fire amid a wave of strong winds. Extreme weather is also causing new fires across the state.

The SNational Meteorological Service predicts that the state you won’t see a respite in the high temperatures until next week so intense heat warnings will continue across much of the state.

Related: Experts warn that the increase in unemployment will continue in the country despite Trump’s executive order to grant $ 400 weekly support.

Electricity prices

Electricity prices in California have reached the highest levels in the last two years, since Friday the price per megawatt has risen more than $ 1,000 per hour statewide. At the same time, Bloomberg He reported that Natural Gas prices doubled due to the need for fuel to produce electricity.

The outlook is not encouraging for California, as new blackouts could occur in the next few hours.

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