Latin America & Caribbean

In pictures: Venezuelans search for water amid power cut

Locals collect water from an underground water main pipeline in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

Residents of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities hit by a six-day-long power cut have been searching for water as supplies to their homes have been affected by the blackout.

Many pumps which deliver water to homes stopped working when the power cut first hit on Thursday afternoon local time.

While in some areas power returned for short periods and people were able to fill buckets with water, others have had no supplies for the past six days.

The supply continues to be intermittent in many areas and often drops out.

People collect water at the Park of the East, in Caracas, Venezuela, 12 March 2019 Image copyright EPA

In the capital, Caracas, families gathered up all the plastic bottles they could find to fill them with hosepipes at a public park in the east of the city.

Others went to a mountain on the outskirts of the city to find water. Long lines of people could be seen walking along the paths carrying empty receptacles.

A woman looks at bottles and buckets filled with water from the mountain during blackouts, which affects the water pumps on March 12, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela Image copyright Getty Images
People walk with tanks and bottles to fill them with water that comes from the mountain during blackouts, which affects the water pumps on March 12, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela. Image copyright Getty Images

In the city centre, residents tried to scoop up any water they could from the streets. Others tried to catch water from the city's sewer system.

A group of people try to collect water at the sewer system due to shortage of water due to the power outage in Caracas, Venezuela, 12 March 2019. D Image copyright EPA
People collect water from a sewage canal at the river Guaire in Caracas on March 11, 2019, Image copyright AFP
People collect water released through a sewage drain that feeds into the Guaire River, which carries most of the city's wastewater, in Caracas, Venezuela March 11, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

The Venezuelan government and the country's opposition have blamed each other for the electrical crisis which, according to a tally kept by an opposition lawmaker, has led to the deaths of at least 24 people.

President Nicolás Maduro has alleged - without giving any evidence - that it is the result of "electromagnetic and cyber attacks" on the grid, which he said were orchestrated from the US and carried out with high-end US technology.

On Tuesday, the country's prosecutor general Tarek Saab said opposition leader Juan Guaidó would be investigated for allegedly being "one of the intellectual authors" of these attacks.

Mr Guaidó says years of government mismanagement and lack of maintenance are to blame.

Mr Maduro and Mr Guaidó have been at loggerheads since the opposition leader declared himself interim president on 23 January, arguing that the election which returned Mr Maduro to power for a second term last May was neither free nor fair.

Mr Guaidó is backed by more than 50 countries, including the US and many in Latin America, but Mr Maduro retains the support of his powerful allies China and Russia among others.

On Wednesday, China offered to help the Venezuelan government. "China hopes that Venezuela can quickly find the cause of this accident and restore normal power and social order," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

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