Major outage leaves tens of thousands without power
Caribbean Business on September 21, 2016
SAN JUAN – A massive blackout has left tens of thousands of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) customers without power following a massive blackout Wednesday.
An explosion in Salinas’ Aguirre Complex was reported at the time of the outage. The Fire Department is now at the same thermoelectric plant where a fire was reported July 25 due to a fuel leak. It took three weeks to repair.
The president of the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union (Utier by its Spanish acronym), Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, said it is the largest blackout seen in recent years.
“It is a breakdown at Aguirre [Complex] and 230,000-volt system. All plants: Central San Juan, Palo Seco [are] out of service,” the union leader said in remarks reported by by journalist Jay Fonseca and posted on his Twitter account.
On its Twitter account, Prepa says the general outage was being felt island-wide and that the cause is being investigated. The public utility’s press officials have not responded to calls seeking comment.
The consumer representative on Prepa’s board, Luis Santini Gaudier, said on his Twitter account (@santinigaudier) that the outage is islandwide, “including Vieques and Culebra.”
“Delicate appliances should be turned off. Take precautionary measures. Find alternate light sources,” said Santini Gaudier, who added it would take several hours for the power service to be restored.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Police reported that officers are on the streets to help with traffic while service is restored. The police’s system to issue certificates of good conduct has been interrupted by the outage.
Following the blackout, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said that employees who work in the Municipal Tower would be allowed to leave at 3:30 p.m.
Power outage in Puerto Rico
09/21/2016 | 02: 45 p.m.
The failure occurred this afternoon affects all sectors in Puerto Rico.
A fire in the Central Aguirre Power Authority (ESA) in Salinas caused a malfunction that keeps unlit thousands of subscribers throughout Puerto Rico, official sources confirmed.
Geraldo Quinones, press officer of ESA, said that this is a general breakdown islandwide.
“It are investigating the causes and sectors affected,” he said.
Fire control plant @BomberosELAPR Aguirre. pic.twitter.com/9J9uIbuDkv
– Fire Puerto Rico (@BomberosELAPR) September 21, 2016
LIVE on #Periscope: Controlled fire in Aguirre https://t.co/GLqmfjASO9
– AEMEAD (@ AEMEAD1) September 21, 2016
As reported in writing ESA, the fault is in two transmission lines of 230 thousand volts.