Puerto Rico restores power to over 70 percent of customers after blackout

Puerto Rico restores power to over 70 percent of customers after blackout

The blackout was caused by the failure of a 230-kilovolt transmission line between the oil-fired Aguirre generating complex in Salinas and AES Corp's coal-fired power plant in Guayama, PREPA said in a statement on Wednesday.

An island-wide blackout has struck Puerto Rico, plunging the USA territory of more than 3 million citizens back into darkness more than seven months after local and federal officials began working to restore a fragile power grid demolished by Hurricane Maria.

The priority is to restore service to critical structures such as hospitals, the airport, water pumps and banks, according to the agency's Twitter account. The power authority said it aims to bring the remaining 41,000 customers back online by June.

The U.S. territory only restored 97 percent of the island's power since last year's devastating hurricane.


Alana Rivera, age 10, does her daily homework in her apartment balcony lit by a cell phone light in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 6, 2017.

The latest blackout prompted Gov. Ricardo Rossello to call on PREPA to cancel its contract with the subcontractor.

PREPA has suffered several blackouts since the storm, including an outage last week affecting about 870,000 customers, and has been in bankruptcy since July, owing some $9 billion to mutual funds, hedge funds and other investors. Rosselló is pushing a bill to privatize the power system.

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