The Slatest

Puerto Rico Hit by Islandwide Power Outage

A Puerto Rican girl does her daily homework in her apartment balcony lit by a cellphone light.
Alana Rivera, age 10, does her daily homework in her apartment balcony lit by a cellphone light in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 6.
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

The entire island of Puerto Rico lost power on Wednesday after a major failure hit its electrical grid.

The outage, which occurred nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria hit the island and crippled its power grid, could take 24 to 36 hours to fix, according to the territory’s power authority. According to the New York Times, the power authority blamed the blackout on a failure in a line originating from the largest power plant in the island. Puerto Rico is home to more than 3 million people.

Power outages can be highly dangerous, as hospitals and other facilities can lose access to technologies essential for medical care. If the outages persist, a lack of access to clean water can spread sickness. According to the Times, San Juan’s largest public hospital reverted to its backup generator.

On Thursday, another blackout occurred that knocked out power to about 870,000 people, according to CNN.