Islandwide blackout hits Puerto Rico

Islandwide blackout hits Puerto Rico

Islandwide blackout hits Puerto Rico

- An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico Wednesday, as the island continues suffering an unstable power grid following a hurricane.

Officials from the island's electricity provider are blaming a defect in a power line.

Puerto Rico has suffered an island-wide power outage, Puerto Rico's power authority said Wednesday - almost seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and its electrical grid.

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Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, tweeted about the island-wide power outage just before 10 a.m. It was a home run that gave Puerto Rico, still reeling from Hurricane Maria, an opportunity to cheer.

Officials from the Electric Power Authority said that it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power. "My first thought was here we go again". It snarled traffic across the island, forced dozens of businesses with no generators to temporarily close and interrupted classes and work. "We are always aware that something like this can happen", she said.

He said that the company was working to remove a collapsed tower on Wednesday when a bulldozer approached a power line, causing it to fail. That sudden loss of power transmission, he said, then makes it impossible for substations to keep running.

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PREPA's interim director Justo González said Wednesday that Cobra Energy, a USA private contractor, hit the transmission line with a crane, as reported in El Nuevo Dia. The local utility said it detected a failure on a prominent distribution line that connects a major generating station in the south of the island to substations in the north, where most of the population lives.

Puerto Rico suffered an islandwide power outage on Wednesday morning.

About 40,000 power customers were still without normal electricity service as a result of the hurricane.

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The new blackout occurred as Puerto Rico legislators debate a bill that would privatize the island's power company, which is $14 billion in debt and relies on infrastructure almost three times older than the industry average.

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