Panama rations power because of drought

Panama takes measure to save power as drought hits output of its hydroelectric plants

Associated Press

PANAMA CITY (AP) -- The Panama Canal Authority says it has adopted several water-saving measures to help save energy as the Central American country faces a power shortage because of a lack of rain.

Panama gets about 60 percent of its energy from hydroelectric plants that have been hard hit by drought.

The authority says in a Wednesday statement that it has suspended use of hydraulic assistance to help push ships out as they leave locks. It also says it will put two ships in a lock at a time rather than one.

Panama authorities on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in some regions affected by drought and ordered several energy-saving measures, including closing public schools for three days and shortening hours at government offices.

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