Efforts to restore electricity across Puerto Rico nearly six months after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria were hampered over the weekend by an explosion at a power station.
Some areas that had regained power in the aftermath of the September storm were plunged into darkness again.
The Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said one of the island’s power stations broke down on Sunday and exploded, cutting out power to sub-stations across the northern part of the island and parts of the capital San Juan.
The power authority said the island lost at least 400 megawatts worth of power generation.
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.
AEE Informa: El interruptor 36210 de 115,000 voltios de Monacillo, que se averió cerca de las 9 pm, alimenta las subestaciones Villa Betina, Quebrada Negrito y el Centro de Transmisión de Juncos. CC1 pic.twitter.com/B6MFT9VlOY
— AEE (@AEEONLINE) February 12, 2018
Thousands of workers have been racing to restore power to the island since Hurricane Maria struck, with crews made up of responders from PREPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Army Corps of Engineers and local industry workers.
The outage has been another setback in what has been slow recovery for the territory after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September.
Power had been knocked out across the island as a result of the disaster, with the power authority telling ABC News earlier on Sunday that electricity had been restored to at least 75 percent of customers.
The hurricane tore through Puerto Rico with 155-mile-per-hour winds and pummeled the island with more than 30 inches of rain, leaving a deadly path of destruction in its wake.
The hurricane’s official death count is 64 people, but outside analyses have estimated that as many as 1,000 people may have died. The Puerto Rico-based Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) has since sued the island’s Demographic Registry over the death count, according to a report from Latino USA.