October 21, 2017

Puerto Rico: Huge blackout after power plant fire

Blackout left parts of San Juan in the dark

A big fire at a power plant has left 1.5 million people without electricity in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

The fire affected two transmission lines and caused the collapse of the electricity system across the island, officials say.

Supply is expected to be restored to most areas on Thursday.

Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority has been undergoing restructuring and is seeking funds to update what it says is outdated equipment.

The fire department said it had extinguished the blaze at the power plant in the south of the island, which serves most of the island’s 3.5 million people.

The cause of the fire is still unclear.

People use an ATM machine at a shopping mall during a power outage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 21 September
An employee at a fast-food restaurant in a shopping mall uses her mobile phone during a power outage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 21 September

There was traffic chaos as the outage forced schools and businesses to close earlier, reports say.

The blackout also caused 15 fires across Puerto Rico as a result of malfunctioning generators.

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