Doctors using flashlights for surgery in Venezuela as blackout continues

Power outage in Venezuela strains crisis

Miami — The crisis in Venezuela is getting more desperate by the hour as a nationwide power failure stretched into a fifth day. Food and gasoline are running out as a political power struggle plays out.

Doctors have been reduced to performing emergency surgeries by flashlight ever since the power went out over much of Venezuela last Thursday. Opposition groups say an estimated 17 people have died from lack of medical care, like dialysis.

Doctor Luis Fernandez spoke with CBS News via skype from Caracas about one patient with a high-risk pregnancy. He said she lost the baby and is now in critical condition. With another explosion reported at a substation Monday, he worries about his other patients.

Embattled President Nicolas Maduro said the outage was the result of a cyberattack by the U.S., but provided no evidence. Opposition leader Juan Guaido alleged corruption and mismanagement by Maduro's regime.

What's clear here is the misery. Residents said pumps stopped working, forcing them to search for water.

The Caracas airport is barely functioning. With no quick fix on the horizon, a country already dealing with crisis is uncertain how much longer it will remain in the dark.