A power failure left the entire island of Puerto Rico without electricity on Wednesday, showing that la isla del encanto still needs a great deal of assistance seven months after Hurricane Maria.
The Puerto Rico Electricity Power Authority (PREPA) said on Twitter that it could potentially take up to 36 hours to restore electricity to nearly 1.5 million affected customers, attributing the blackout to a failure in a line that stems from Aguirre Central, the island’s largest power plant.
“The priority to restore services are the critical loads such as the hospitals, the Luis Muñoz Marín airport, the water pumping stations, and banking centers,” company officials said on Twitter. “Then comes industries, commercial businesses, and residences.”
The first reported tweet on the blackout was posted around 10:30 a.m. today.
This is the second blackout in less than a week; on Thursday, about 870,000 customers lost power across the island after a tree fell on the main line to San Juan. The capital’s main public hospital and international airport were forced to switch to backup generators.
It also threatens to interrupt a lighthearted occasion in the capital as the city hosts the Puerto Rico Series, a two-day MLB matchup between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins. Hotels are currently operating on generators, including the facility that was hosting a news conference in commemoration of Puerto Rico native Roberto Clemente.
“Welcome to Puerto Rico. This is what we know as life,” former MLB player and ESPN commentator Eduardo Perez told those who gathered in the room.
As the island-wide power outage persists, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said this won’t affect the final game of the Puerto Rico Series. A spokesperson from the Major League Baseball said the commissioner’s office is “confident tonight’s game will be played without issue.”