US Puerto Rico's power outage is now the second-largest blackout in history

09:51  17 april  2018
09:51  17 april  2018 Source:   CNN

Widespread power outage persists in Puerto Rico

  Widespread power outage persists in Puerto Rico In another blow to its recovery efforts, an island-wide power outage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark, with only a fraction of customers regaining electricity by Wednesday night. The latest blackout prompted Gov. Ricardo Rossello to call on the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to cancel its contract with the subcontractor that caused the massive outage."I have suggested to the PREPA Board of Directors that they cancel the contract with the Cobra subcontractor who is directly responsible for this power outage," he said in a statement Wednesday.An excavator operated by D.

Share Puerto Rico ’ s blackout , the largest in American history , explained. Even though power outages are common after large storms, several key factors have made the situation in Puerto Rico uniquely dangerous and deadly.

Share Puerto Rico ’ s blackout is now the second largest on record worldwide. (The metric here is “customer-hours,” which is the number of customers without power multiplied by the duration of the outage .)

  Puerto Rico's power outage is now the second-largest blackout in history © NOAA

You may have thought the world had run out of superlatives to describe the misery that Hurricane Maria brought to Puerto Rico. Well now, here's another one: second-largest blackout in history.

Since the monster storm slammed into the American Caribbean territory in September 2017 and heavily damaged the power grid, more than 3.4 billion hours of electricity have been lost there. That makes it the second-longest blackout in world history, according to a report from the Rhodium Group, an economic research firm.

The only blackout in world history bigger than Puerto Rico's is the one that came after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013. About 6.1 billion hours of power were lost after that massive storm.

Power largely restored across Puerto Rico after blackout

  Power largely restored across Puerto Rico after blackout Puerto Rico's power company says it has restored electricity to more than 80 percent of customers affected by an island-wide blackout that was caused by an excavator hitting a transmission line. Officials say that more than 1.1 million of its clients now have power.Officials said that power had been restored to more than 1.1 million of its clients following Wednesday's blackout, and that they expected to restore power to the remaining 326,000 customers by noon. The outage marked the first time Puerto Rico was hit by an island-wide blackout since Hurricane Maria struck on Sept. 20 and wiped out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines.

Another hurricane this year also made the list, with Irma being the fourth largest blackout in American history owing to huge power outages in Florida and Georgia. But what’ s happening in Puerto Rico is in a class of its own.

As of the beginning of this week, more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans were still without power . What was already the largest blackout in American history has now likely become, in our analysis, the second largest blackout in the world.

The Rhodium Group analysis largely relies on data on electricity loss provided to the Department of Energy, as well as news reports for storms prior to 2000, according to Trevor Houser, a partner at Rhodium who co-wrote the analysis with Peter Marsters. The analysis leaves out war-related destruction of electrical infrastructure.

A Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority lineman attaches an electrical insulator to a new utility pole in a residential area in Gurabo, Puerto Rico on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ricardo ARDUENGO / TO GO WITH AFP STORY By Leila MACOR, US-PuertoRico-power-weather-reconstruction-hurricane (Photo credit should read RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images) © RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images/FILE A Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority lineman attaches an electrical insulator to a new utility pole in a residential area in Gurabo, Puerto Rico on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ricardo ARDUENGO / TO GO WITH AFP STORY By Leila MACOR, US-PuertoRico-power-weather-reconstruction-hurricane (Photo credit should read RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images)

The worst in US history

Houser said the group analyzes the economic impacts of weather and climate events, and they decided to dig in more deeply on the impacts of Maria on the Puerto Rican economy.

Puerto Rico suffers island-wide power outage

  Puerto Rico suffers island-wide power outage Puerto Rico has suffered an island-wide power outage, its power authority said Wednesday -- nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and its electrical grid. An excavator operated by a contractor apparently caused the blackout, which originated at a major transmission line running between Salinas to Guayama in the southeast, according to the authority. Power was to be restored within 24 to 36 hours, the authority said. By 3:30 p.m., service had been restored in at least seven municipalities and five hospitals.

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in late September of last year, seriously damaging much of the island’ s infrastructure and its electrical grid. Today, nearly seven months later, more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans remain without power in what is now likely the second largest blackout in world.

In terms of the total number of lost hours of electricity, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are in the midst of the largest blackout in US history , according to a report from an economic research company.

"As we started looking at the scale of the blackout and try to put that in historical context, it became clear this was a record-breaking event and worthy of some attention and focus just from an electric standpoint," Houser said.

The blackout is already the worst in US history, beating out Hurricane Georges in 1998 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Right now, Rhodium estimates power has been restored to 96% of the island, meaning that 53,000 households -- between 100,000 and 200,000 people -- still don't have electricity, some seven months after the storm.

Houser and Marsters said their research shows that "making existing electricity supply more resilient to storm-related disruptions in both developed and developing countries is also important, particularly given recent and projected changes in the global climate."

FEMA faulted for failed contracts to deliver hurricane aid .
<p>The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded contracts for hurricane supplies without adequately researching whether winning bidders could deliver what they promised, according to a new investigation by Democrats.</p>The investigation followed disclosures by The Associated Press in November that a newly created Florida company with an unproven record had won more than $30 million in FEMA contracts to provide 500,000 tarps and 60,000 rolls of plastic sheeting for repairs after Hurricane Maria damaged tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico. That vendor, Bronze Star LLC of St. Cloud, Florida, never delivered those urgently needed supplies.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!