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RIO DE JANEIRO – A top Brazilian official says blackouts that darkened Brazil's two largest cities and other areas were caused by the failure of a hydroelectric dam that supplies the nation with 20 percent of its electricity.
Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao says authorities do not know why the dam went offline. He says a possible cause was a large storm that hit the area around the dam straddling the Brazil-Paraguay border.
Lobao said Tuesday night that Brazil lost 17,000 megawatts of power. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo were among the hardest hit cities.