More than 1 million Puerto Ricans suffered a power outage this month – NBC4 Washington

Private companies that took over transmission and distribution in Puerto Rico this month are suffering from massive power outages and growing anger to control large-scale fires at major substations that have left hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark. Hurriedly worked on.

More than a million customers have been hit by power outages so far this month, but not a few have been affected by the explosion and fire at the substation in San Juan, the capital of San Juan, officials said. Prior to the fire on Thursday, several mayors had declared a state of emergency as they distributed ice and generators to those in need.

Approximately 700,000 customers lost power during the power outage, and at least 400,000 customers lost power late Thursday.

Many in Puerto Rico wanted a quick improvement in service, but customers complained that it was even worse in the first few days of operation of Luma. The problem was complicated by this week’s heavy rains and subsequent explosions.

In the western town of San Sebastian, where Hurricane Maria destroyed most of the U.S. power grid in 2017 and established its own brigade of workers to repair after some people lost electricity. “This has turned into a mess,” said Mayor Javier Jimenez. Nearly a year.

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Jimenez told him again this week that Luma Energy, which took over the transmission and distribution system of Puerto Rico’s utility on June 1, did not have enough personnel to restore more than 100 electricity. In his town, which said the brigade was rejuvenated, 1,000 families left the darkness over the weekend.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “A company that has only been in the last few days …”

Jimenez also noted that Puerto Ricans called the company and complained that they had been on hold for hours without a response.

A Luma spokeswoman did not return a message asking for comment, but company representative José Pérez told a local radio station that the power outage was a sabotage or many people were using the system at once. Later, on Thursday afternoon, Luma reported that the website was the target of a cyberattack, stating that 2 million hits per second were blocking customer access. ..

High-ranking government officials are seeking patience, and Luma has inherited thousands of outages, hijacking systems running in volatile infrastructure, and most of them have been fixed after Hurricane Maria. be careful.

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In early June, Luma CEO Wayne Stenby told reporters that the company had more than 350 line workers, a sufficient number.

On Tuesday, Luma issued a statement calling on local government officials and private sectors to stop trying to modify the system on their own, saying such efforts were illegal and dangerous.

“Luma is aware of power outages affecting the entire Puerto Rico community and is working safely and strategically to restore power across the island,” he said.

However, many customers, including 38-year-old gymnastics instructor Jose Aquino, said he and his family had been out of power several times this week for 14 hours at a time. His father was diabetic and abandoned insulin. , Had to buy a small cooler box for storage on ice.

“Since (Hurricane) Maria, he hasn’t had to do that,” Akino said, adding that neither he nor his wife could report a power outage to Luma. “They don’t answer.”

Luma, a consortium of Atco based in Alberta, Calgary and Quanta Services Inc. in Houston, serves approximately 1.5 million customers. Operates a power transmission and distribution system under a 15-year contract with the Government of Puerto Rico.

More than 1 million Puerto Ricans suffered a power outage this month – NBC4 Washington

Source link More than 1 million Puerto Ricans suffered a power outage this month – NBC4 Washington

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