Power largely restored in Puerto Rico after total blackout

Lester Mason
April 20, 2018

Other measures include the closure of prisons, consolidation of dozens of state agencies and significant reductions in government subsidies to Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities and its largest public university.

Numerous remaining 40,000 customers have been without power since Hurricane Maria. The island has slowly been on the mend but suffered a major setback thanks to an islandwide blackout.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A majority of federal control board members approved new austerity measures for Puerto Rico on Thursday, saying they would help revitalize the economy and create more jobs amid the US territory's 11-year recession, while the island's governor fired off a flurry of tweets promising to defy them.

Justo González, an executive deputy director of the power authority, said Wednesday that the blackout was caused by a private contractor whose bulldozer downed a transmission line while trying to remove a collapsed tower. That incident crippled the island to the point that it shut down service to its worldwide airport, Puerto Rico's largest mall, metro light rail system and San Juan's largest hospital.

In recent months, the island has experienced a series of small, regional blackouts as well as wide-ranging outages, such as one last week that left almost 1 million people without power.

On top of that, a backup line that was supposed to kick in also failed. The islands of Culebra and Vieques were not affected. "The grid is so fragile and they're just barely able to get the lights back on".

The company involved in the latest failure - as well as an outage last week that affected 870K residents - was subcontracted by Cobra Acquisitions, a TUSK subsidiary that was hired to help with power restoration efforts.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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