Puerto Rico restores power to most after blackout, officials say

Ezra Shaw  Getty Images

Machete. Ezra Shaw Getty Images

The logo of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is seen in Dorado, Puerto Rico January 22, 2018.

Parts of northern Puerto Rico on Sunday were left in the dark after a mechanical failure caused a fire at a power substation, CNN reported, citing authorities.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) told the Associated Press that much of northern Puerto Rico, including parts of the capital, San Juan, as well as Guaynabo, Carolina and Juncos, remained without power in the wake of the explosion, but it hoped it would be restored within a day.

The fire that resulted from the explosion has been put under control.

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"No injured reported", San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said on Twitter.

"The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority does not work and can not continue to operate like this", Rosselló said in a speech in January, per NPR.

The blackout comes as almost 500,000 of AEE's 1.6 million customers remain without power since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the United States territory in September 2017. The agency is working to restore service to customers and that some areas were already experiencing the return of electricity on Sunday night. In many cases, power workers are repairing equipment that should have always been replaced but remained online due to the power authority's long financial crisis. It also has suffered frequent blackouts, including an island-wide outage in September 2016.

Prepa has been criticized for its inefficiency, with US$9 billion in debt and infrastructure three times older than the industry average. It would be the largest restructuring of a public entity in USA history. More than five months after the Hurricane, more than 400,000 PREPA customers still do not have power.

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