Santiago: A blackout has plunged millions of Chileans into darkness and rattled a country already anxious after last month`s 8.8-magnitude quake.
The director of the Interior Ministry`s emergency office says a 1,200-mile (2,000-kilometer) stretch from Taltal in the north to Chiloe in the south has been affected.
Most of Chile`s 17 million people live in that area. Many left their homes and went into the streets. The outage hit on Sunday at nightfall and did not coincide with an aftershock.
Presidency official Cristian Larroulet said it would take several hours to restore power. Authorities are investigating the cause.
The February 27 quake killed at least 497 people and caused an estimated USD 30 billion worth in damage.