Caribbean – Power outage plunges Puerto Rico into darkness

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Electricity was cut off due to a malfunction in a circuit breaker across the Caribbean island on Wednesday night. Experts estimate that at least 500,000 homes were without electricity as of Thursday morning.

When Puerto Rico is plunged into darkness.

When Puerto Rico is plunged into darkness.

AFP

Many residents of Puerto Rico were without electricity Thursday morning, after a power outage that struck the entire U.S. territory of the Caribbean on Wednesday evening, claiming that its appearance was the failure of a circuit breaker, the electricity company from the island said. . The power grid across the island suffered a major malfunction as the circuit breaker at the Costa Sir power plant failed. The exact cause is unknown at this time, “said Luma Power Company, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.

According to the specialty site poweroutage.us, this figure could be underestimated, with at least half a million households still without electricity on Thursday morning. The previous evening, 3.2 million people on the island were without electricity. “Due to the magnitude and extent of the malfunction, power restoration activities for some areas may be extended until Thursday and Friday,” Luma said.

Puerto Rico has been facing severe infrastructure problems for many years. The island’s electricity network was privatized in June 2021 with the goal of solving the power outage problem. But in the same month, a fire in the transformer had already caused massive malfunction across the island, while a cyber attack targeted the Luma base a few hours ago, without connection.

Thousands of residents marched in October against the reliability of the power grid as it faced repeated power outages.

Recession, Bankruptcy …

The former Spanish colony of Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in the late 19th century, before gaining the special status of “Associated Free State” in the 1950s. The change in tax status in 2006, coupled with the financial crisis, pushed the island into recession in the following years. In May 2017 the area was declared the largest bankruptcy process initiated by a local company in the United States and began to emerge in early 2022. In 2017, Puerto Rico was also hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the island. , And especially its power network, is exacerbating the economic crisis.

The famous Arecibo Radio Telescope, used by astronomers around the world to signal infrastructural degradation, crashed in December 2020, 57 years after the discovery of the first planets orbiting a star other than the Sun. Service, no plans to fix it.

(AFP)

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