* President says power problems could last seven days
* Pinera pledges to fix transformer within 48 hrs
(Adds quotes, details)
SANTIAGO, March 15 Chile's main power grid will
remain "unstable" for the next seven days, President Sebastian
Pinera said on Monday, a day after a massive outage left most
the world's top copper producer in the dark.
Millions of Chileans were left without power on Sunday
evening after a transformer failed in the electricity grid, two
weeks after a devastating earthquake killed hundreds and
mangled roads and bridges in the South American country.
"We're committed to repair the damaged transformer within
the next 48 hours and the lines that may have been affected
should be checked and repaired within the next seven days,"
"As it was the case following the earthquake on Feb. 27, in
the next seven days we're going to have an unstable power
system," he added.
Electricity was gradually restored on Sunday evening, but
the failure of the South American country's main power grid is
another test for conservative Pinera, who took office last week
on pledges to rebuild Chile after the huge earthquake, which
caused an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion in damage.
(Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Eduardo Garcia; Editing
by Jackie Frank)