Power Station Fire Causes Mass Blackouts in Puerto Rico

A major power outage hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday,  causing an island wide blackout lafter a fire erupted at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority’s Costa Sur power plant, one of the largest power generation facilities in the U.S. territory.

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary said generators at all hospitals and health centers were functioning and had enough fuel and that the coronavirus vaccines remained stored at the correct temperature.

Governor Pedro Pierluisi also said priority would be given to hospitals and other institutions and urged “everyone to remain calm.” 

Meanwhile, Luma, the private company that took over transmission and distribution of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said the interruption was an island-wide power outage. 

“The power grid has suffered a massive island-wide blackout, potentially caused by a circuit breaker failure at the Costa Sur generation plant. We are not clear on the exact cause at this time,” the company said.

In 2016, another fire at a power plant caused an island-wide blackout, and a year later, Hurricane Maria hit the island and left the people without power for nearly a year. 

Reports said the Electric Power Authority has long struggled with mismanagement, corruption, and unmaintained aging infrastructure. 

The authority also holds some $9 billion in public debt.

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