An aerial photograph shows the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam at Pimental, near Altamira in Para State, November 15, 2012. After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering from a
An aerial photograph shows the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam at Pimental, near Altamira in Para State, November 15, 2012. After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering from a

SAO PAULO - Large swaths of Brazil's north and northeast suffered a power outage Wednesday, the operator of the nation's grid said, affecting tens of millions of consumers and 22.5 percent of total output, or 18,000 megawatts.

Lower house member Jose Carlos Aleluia, a former head of one of state-owned power utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA's units, said on Twitter the outage was caused by a test failure in a transmission line connecting to the Belo Monte dam.

Eletrobras, as the utility is known, and China's State Grid Corp, which operate the transmission line, did not respond to requests for comment.

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