Puerto Rico Hit by Island-Wide Blackout Seven Months After Hurricane Maria

By Anna Breuer on 18 April 2018
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San Juan, Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria

San Juan, Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico was once again left without power after a contractor working in a rural area to restore power knocked out a major transmission line Wednesday, resulting in an island-wide outage.

The outage occurred, seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s power grid, when a bulldozer operated by a contractor who was attempting to pick up a collapsed electrical tower got too close to a high-voltage line, causing an electrical fault.

The result was “a sudden, strong change of frequency and voltage,” said Justo González, a deputy director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, at a news conference.

The electrical fault had a domino effect at power plants across the island.

In San Juan, the city’s main hospital as well as Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport were forced to switch to backup generations in order to maintain operations. Most large hotels have onsite generators as well.

By 3:30 p.m., power had been restored to seven municipalities and five hospitals and the agency said it could take 24 to 36 hours to restore power to the entire island.

Last week, over 840,000 customers lost power after a tree fell on a single transmission line on the island, while a month earlier, a power line failure affected several hundred thousand customers.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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