A freak accident on Wednesday, April 18th, once again plunged the entire Island of Puerto Rico into darkness.
The outage reportedly happened as an excavator working near a fallen 140-foot transmission tower on the southern part of the island got too close to a high-voltage line—resulting in an electrical fault that knocked out power.
As of Thursday, April 19th, power had been restored to more than three-quarters of the Island.
“We expect that our previously energized clients will have service in approximately 24 hours,” wrote PREPA deputy executive director Justo González Torres in a press release. “If a major complication arises, this period may be extended up to 36 hours.”
Ever since Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane, hit the island—it’s 3.3 million residents have been forced to endure an agonizingly slow power restoration effort, suffering health and environmental harms as bureaucracy, logistical difficulties, and potential corruption hampered progress.