CARACAS, Venezuela — A widespread power outage left much of Venezuela in the dark Friday, and turned out the lights at a nationally televised presidential ceremony.

In addition to causing traffic snarls and darkened offices in the South American country’s capital city of Caracas, the outage affected at least nine of Venezuela’s 23 states.

A plant that powers the country’s central and western regions failed in the early afternoon, according to Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon. Electricity had not been fully restored as night fell.

The outage disrupted a televised celebration of journalists that President Nicolas Maduro was holding in the governmental palace.