By PATRICIA MAZZEI
A major failure knocked out the electricity in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, leaving the entire island without power nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the electrical grid.
It could take up to 36 hours to restore electricity to affected customers, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said on Twitter. PREPA attributed the blackout to a failure in a line that begins in the island’s largest power plant.
It was the second widespread failure in less than a week, underscoring just how fragile Puerto Rico’s electricity remains since the storm hit on Sept. 20. In the earlier failure on Thursday, about 870,000 customers lost power across the island after a tree fell on the main line to the capital, San Juan. The city’s main public hospital and international airport were forced to switch to backup generators.
The tree fell as crews tried to clear land near Cayey as part of the continuing power restoration efforts.