More than 100,000 users continue without electricity in Puerto Rico two weeks after the passage of Hurricane Fiona

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More than 100,000 subscribers are still without electricity in Puerto Rico (REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo)
More than 100,000 subscribers are still without electricity in Puerto Rico (REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo)

Some 101,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity in Puerto Rico this Wednesdaytwo weeks after Hurricane Fiona caused a blackout that affected the entire island of 3.3 million people.

Fiona arrived in Puerto Rico on September 18, about five years after Hurricane Maria also left the island without power.

After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Fiona turned north and hit eastern Canada on September 24leaving more than a third of Nova Scotia without power.

Nova Scotia Power, a unit of Canadian energy company Emera Inc, said some 7,700 customers were still without power in the province as of early Wednesday, up from 13,800 early Tuesday.

PowerOutage.us said about 101,000 customers were without service in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, down from 109,000 on Tuesday, based on data from LUMA Energy, which operates the network.

That rate of recovery – albeit slow – was faster than after Maria, when nearly 1.5 million customers had no power for a week. At the time, the grid was operated by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), now bankrupt.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a category 1 storm with winds of 137 km / h (REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo)
Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a category 1 storm with winds of 137 km / h (REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo)

It took PREPA about 11 months to restore power to all of its customers, but Maria was a much more powerful storm than Fiona.

Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 as a hurricane of category 4 with 249 km/h winds, while Fiona hit as a Category 1 storm with 137 km/h winds.

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LUMA Energy said it restored service to 1,384,537 subscribers, about 94% of all customers as of late Tuesday.

For its part, The assistant secretary of the Government of Puerto Rico for Energy Affairs, Francisco Berríos, assured this Wednesday that by next Saturday at the latest the power grid on the island will be 100% restored.

According to what Berríos said in an interview with the station Radio Isla 1320Those responsible for the electrical network on the island are focused on repairing the system in the municipalities that have the least service, which was affected by the cyclone more than two weeks ago.

“We are looking very closely with the mayors of these municipalities to know the work plans with the feeders,” said the assistant secretary on the system restoration project.

“These plans establish periods of days, and specify that the farthest would be between October 7 and 8 for 100% restoration ”he continued.

Joe Biden visited Puerto Rico this week and promised to rebuild the island (REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein)
Joe Biden visited Puerto Rico this week and promised to rebuild the island (REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein)

The region with the least number of customers with electricity is Mayagüez (west), with 77%, according to the Luma portal.

However, Luma details on its website that the restoration of electricity service in that area will be no later than October 6.

The regions of San Juan, Bayamón, Caguas and Arecibo have more than 95% of the electricity service, while Ponce has 90%.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, visited Puerto Rico on Mondaywhere he promised that recovery aid will arrive without delay with the aim of rebuilding the island “faster” and “in a resilient way” in the face of new hurricanes.

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They are first visit to Puerto Rico as presidentbarely three hours, was focused on inspecting the damage caused by the recent hurricane fiona and in showing his “commitment” to the island, which he feels does not receive the necessary support from the US or that it is late.

We came in person to show that we stand with you, all Americans stand with you, as you recover and rebuild.”, Biden stressed to calm the fears of this Commonwealth of the United States.

(With information from Reuters and EFE)

Keep reading:

Joe Biden promised to rebuild Puerto Rico and carry out works to avoid the damage caused by the hurricanes
Hurricane Fiona left more than 500,000 homes in Canada without power

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