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Chileans hit by major blackout

A massive power blackout has affected nine million people across Chile, forcing thousands in the capital to be evacuated from trains or the underground system.

Energy minister Rodrigo Alvarez said the cause of the blackout has not been definitively determined but he cited "oscillation problems" in two power lines and a failure in a computer system.

The blackout occurred at 8.30pm local time on Saturday and affected an 810-mile stretch of this narrow, coast-hugging country. Two hours later, officials said power had been restored to 90% of the capital, Santiago. Other parts of Chile remained without electricity.

Authorities said the blackout affected nine million of Chile's 16 million people

Deputy interior secretary Rodrigo Ubilla said that one supermarket in the capital had been looted, adding that police and authorities were providing security during the blackout.

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