Parts Of Northern Puerto Rico Lose Electricity After Power Plant Explosion

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Officials with Puerto Rico's power company say they have now restored power to most of the people hit by a blackout overnight after a fire and explosion at a substation.

RICARDO ARDUENGO via Getty Images An explosion at a power station plunged parts of northern Puerto Rico into darkness on Sunday evening.

The island's utility company said electricity had been restored to 75% capacity after Hurricane Maria decimated the USA territory in late September.

Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said on Twitter that 400 megawatts of power generation had been lost. It was not immediately known what caused the fire.

Heavy black smoke billowed from the substation as neighbors in the area described on social media seeing the sky turn orange following a loud explosion.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that no injuries have been reported yet and that firefighters were sent to the scene.

Cruz famously clashed with President Trump past year over the federal government's response to the September 20, 2017 disaster.

The blackout comes as almost 500,000 of AEE's 1.6 million customers remain without power since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the U.S. territory in September 2017. The storm killed dozens and left the entire island without power at a time when it was already trudging through the largest government bankruptcy in the United States history, with some $120 billion in combined bond and pension debt.

An island-wide boil water advisory remains in effect.