It’s the second major blackout in six days.
Puerto Rico is experiencing an island-wide electricity outage, the biggest blackout since Hurricane Maria hit nearly seven months ago.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), a government-owned organization, said Wednesday it would take 24 to 36 hours for the power to be restored.
The blackout comes just six days after authorities said about 840,000 people lost power when a tree fell on a power line.
However, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney incorrectly claimed on Wednesday during a budget hearing that “more people have power now in Puerto Rico than had it before the storm.”
The power company tweeted Wednesday that the fault happened in the 50700 power line, which runs from Central Aguirre, in the south of the island, to power plants.
“Our technical personnel is inspecting this line to determine the causes of the failure,” said Justo González Torres, executive director at PREPA, in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
PREPA said the line suffered a fault in one of its sections. Two islands off Puerto Rico’s mainland, Vieques and Culebra, still have power, as do two other small communities in Arecibo and Naguabo that use micro power grids.
Wednesday’s blackout is the first time since Maria devastated the island Sept. 20 that the whole island has been without power, although the power grid has been unstable.
“This is too much,” said resident Luis Oscar Rivera, 42, who only got power back at his home in the last two months. “It’s like the first day of Maria all over again,” he told the Associated Press.
The Associated Press reports that 40,000 customers had still been without power, before Wednesday’s outage.
When the power returns, priority will be given to hospitals, the airport, and other public infrastructure, said the power authority.
Puerto Rico has been experiencing the biggest power blackout in US history and the second-longest in global history.