Puerto Rico has power outages for about half a million customers

A few days after an island-wide power failure in Puerto Rico, the latest breakdown of a perennial problematic electrical grid left nearly half a million customers in the dark early Friday.

Power was slowly being restored, but according to poweroutage.us, a power outage tracker, more than 440,000 customers out of a total of more than 1.4 million customers continue to suffer from power shortages.

For the 3.2 million people of Puerto Rico, the island-wide power outage was a disappointing continuation of the hardships brought about by an unreliable electric grid. Problems persist after a private Canadian-American consortium, Luma, took charge of power transmission and distribution from a public utility in Puerto Rico last June, promising to reduce the frequency of disruptions.

Luma said in a statement Thursday that “the power grid has been disrupted across a vast island, possibly due to a failed circuit breaker at the Costa Sur power plant.” The facility produces the most electricity on the island.

Video footage A fire at a Costa Surrey power substation on the southeastern coast of the island is spreading, according to social media. The exact cause of the power outage after 8pm on Wednesday is under investigation, Luma said in a statement on Thursday. The agency said the facility had suffered “massive damage”.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, Tweet An image of the burned substation on Thursday, some of its components completely blackened.

The company said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that Luma was “not in a position to provide an estimate of a full recovery at this time.” Efforts to restore power will continue until Friday, it said.

Public schools were canceled again FridayBut some government agencies Necessary staff To report work. As a result of the blackout, an estimated 182,000 water and sewerage customers – about 10 percent – were also without water on Thursday.

Gov. Pedro R. Pierre Luisi has released a series of updates on social media, Requesting people “Stay calm” and wait for official updates from government agencies and Luma

In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, causing power outages across the island and further exposing the vulnerability of the already fragile power grid. Some residents have been without electricity for more than a year.

According to The Associated Press, officials have blamed animals for past power failures – one for a cat and another for an iguana.

Last year, Puerto Rico privatized its electric grid and offered Luma a 15-year contract with an annual fee of 11 115 million to take over transmission and distribution activities from the collapsed and bankrupt PREPA. Public utilities are still involved in power generation.

When Luma took charge, company officials said they were ready to handle emergencies and hurricanes. However, widespread blackouts continue and last longer than they were under PREPA.

Puerto Rico House Speaker Rafael Hernandez said A tweet That a public corporation run by Puerto Rican providers, such as PREPA, “could operate more efficiently than the current energy system.” She Called Lumar, deposed, says “thousands of families are suffering because of the disruption.”

Patricia Maje Contributing Reporting.

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