Puerto Rico was hit by another major power outage Wednesday night, leaving more than 337,000 people without power.
The outage is the second major power failure this month and the latest in a string of outages so endemic that several mayors have declared a state of emergency. The cause of the outage was not immediately revealed, aside from a confirmation that it had nothing to do with scheduled maintenance announced just prior to the blackout.
Luma Energy, the company responsible for Puerto Rico's power grid, issued a tweet on Thursday claiming that power had been restored to all people affected by the outage, saying, "By 11:57 pm LUMA had restored service to all customers affected by last night's build events," according to a translation.
The frequent outages have left people on the island outraged, according to NPR, as many had high hopes when the Canadian private company Luma Energy took over the power grid on June 1 in a 15-year contract with the government. The company has faced several problems since assuming control, ranging from cyberattacks to manpower shortages.
On June 10, a large fire at a central power plant in San Juan, followed by a cyberattack, left up to 800,000 people without power, though this number dropped down to 60,000 by midnight, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Power outages have been a regular occurrence all across Puerto Rico ever since Hurricane Maria in 2017, which shattered the territory's already aged and fragile infrastructure. The average Puerto Rican power generation unit is twice the average age of its mainland U.S. counterpart, according to the Associated Press. Following the disaster, people found themselves without power for an extended period — for some, up to a year. The Puerto Rican government privatized the power grid in an attempt to mitigate the issue, but so far, it has found little success. Luma is so short on manpower that it has had to resort to hiring independent contractors to fill in the gaps, NPR reported.
The unreliability of the power grid has forced people to ration gasoline for their generators, which government officials have begun handing out, according to the Associated Press.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Brady Knox
Original Location: Around 337,000 in Puerto Rico left without power in latest endemic outage