Last night, an explosion at a San Juan power plant regressed Puerto Rico’s efforts to restore power to the island five months after Hurricane Maria struck a massive blow. Much of Northern Puerto Rico has suffered another blackout, including the capital city.
The island’s Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day as they worked to repair a substation that controls voltage…
…It was not immediately known what caused Sunday’s fire, which was quickly extinguished. Officials said the explosion knocked two other substations offline and caused a total loss of 400 megawatts worth of generation. (source)
Before this explosion, more than a million people were still without power from the Category 4 hurricane that struck the island on Sept. 20, 2017. They’ve been thrown back in time by a hundred years, with no power, no running water, and damaged homes.
This is a prime example of how disasters aren’t just one-time occurrences. They’re very often followed by subsequent disasters.
Think about it. Fires are often followed by floods which are followed by mudslides and sinkholes. (See California for reference.) The tsunami in Japan was followed by a nuclear plant disaster. Hurricane Harvey in Texas had storm surges and floods that caused a chemical plant to explode a few days later. Now, this already-stressed infrastructure has crumbled again under it’s increasing demand.
Power has been restored to a few critical locations.
This is one situation in which living in a more populated area can benefit you. After last night’s explosion, workers were quick to restore power to specific locations.
By late Sunday, electricity workers had been able to restore power to key locations, including the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, as well as the Medical Center. (source)
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