A huge power outage plunged millions of people across Central America into darkness Saturday, as authorities from Panama to Costa Rica to El Salvador scrambled to restore electrical service. The blackout affected some five million people in Costa Rica alone, where officials largely had managed to restore service after a nationwide power outage lasting about five hours. Authorities pinned blame for the power outages on a downed Panamanian transmission line that adversely

affected the power supply for much of the region. Countries in the region, from Guatemala to Panama, are connected by the same power grid, covering an expanse of some 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles). But that interconnectedness means that the countries of Central America are vulnerable when there are power grid malfunctions in any one. READ MORE