As shown in the status-page screen caputre above, Virtual Machines is the service most affected by the outage, with web sites down in several US regions and cloud services down in other parts of the US.
"Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Websites — Multiple Regions — Full Service Interruption," read the Microsoft-provided description of the issue.
I've asked Microsoft for an update as to what's going on and when the problems should be resolved. No word back so far.
Update (3:30 pm ET/12:30 pm PT): More Azure services, including Backup, Service Bus and Site Recovery — are experiencing problems. An updated note on the Azure status page says:
"Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. We are currently evaluating options to restore service."
Update (3:40 pm ET/12:40 pm PT): Azure HDInsight, Azure Mobile Services also are experiencing full service interruption in multiple geographies.
Update (3:45 pm ET/12:45 pm PT): Here's Microsoft's statement, via a company spokesperson:
“Per our message to customers on the Azure Status page, we are aware of an interruption with Azure services, including Virtual Machines, Cloud Services and Web sites, and are working with our engineering teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”