The blackout started at 2.47 pm and lasted until 6.38 pm. Some parts of Panama City were blacked out again for another hour starting a few minutes before 8 pm. That includedNewsroom, which at that time had posted only one story.We closed for the night so those looking for the headlines on Tuesday morning, were disappointed.
Schools, businesses, restaurants and some malls were closed, and there was traffic gridlock across Panama City when traffic signals failed. Some locations found themselves without water as 52 water treatment plans shut down. Regular phone service disappeared and many cell phone services failed to function The Electricity Transmission Company (Etesa) pointed to the failure of two power transmission lines damaged by burning sugar cane at the Santa Rosa mill in Llano Sanchez, Aguadulce,Cocle province as the cause of the problem.
The manager of EtesaMarciscano Fernando said that after what happened, it was learned that there is an area where they are not complying with the regulations regarding burning. On Tuesday, he and other company personnel flew over the area by helicopter. President, Ricardo Martinelli, wrote on his Twitter account that "Burning cane seems to be the cause of national blackout. Those responsible must be held accountable."