efe-epaCaracas

Venezuela's minister of electric energy said that the blackout affecting this capital and other areas early Wednesday was due to sabotage at a substation in the central state of Miranda.

"Santa Teresa substation suffered an act of sabotage and vandalism today that caused a large explosion and a fire," Luis Motta Dominguez said on Instagram.

"This is part of the empire's plan. ALERT! ALERT!" he added, alluding to the United States, long at odds with Venezuela's leftist government.

The power outage disrupted the operation of the Caracas metro for several hours on Wednesday morning. Likewise affected were the water systems in the capital and neighboring states of Vargas and Miranda.

"An electrical failure which took place in the early morning of Feb 14 has affected the water supply service in Greater Caracas, Miranda and Vargas," state-run utility Hidrocapital said on Twitter. The company added that it was "carrying out the necessary work to return the service to normal" within 12 hours.

The same area suffered blackouts last week that authorities also blamed on sabotage, though power outages are fairly common in Venezuela.