National News

Puerto Rico hit with new power outage

Posted November 15, 2017 10:53 a.m. EST
Updated November 15, 2017 12:19 p.m. EST

— On the same day Puerto Rico's governor celebrated power generation on the island reaching 50% of capacity, the lights went out in the San Juan metro area.

The source of Wednesday's outage was the same main north-south transmission line that failed last Thursday, leaving swaths of the capital without power for hours, officials said.

But the latest interruption appeared to cover a larger area, including Bayamon, Guaynabo, San Juan, Carolina and other municipalities, said Justo González Torres, director of power generation for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA.

González said the authority hoped to restore power in the coming hours.

The outage came hours after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló tweeted that the power authority had completed its stated goal of 50% generation for Wednesday.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz promptly replied via Twitter, telling the governor the percentage of power generation "has just changed" and that the municipal medical center and other buildings were in the dark.

Power generation was at 48.7% of capacity on Wednesday, according to PREPA.

"What has happened today shows that what the government is saying has nothing to do with what's really happening in the country, said Christian Ibarra, 30, a writer for an ad agency in San Juan.

"It's a reflection that's laid bare years of improvisation. The same people always lose. This has caused an economic and humanitarian collapse that would be unacceptable in any other state in the US."

Much of Puerto Rico has been without power since Hurricane Maria smashed the island on September 20.