Puerto Rico suffers island-wide power outage

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Puerto Rico has suffered an island-wide power outage, Puerto Rico’s power authority said Wednesday — nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure and its electrical grid.

The authority said it estimates power will be restored within 24 to 36 hours. The cause of the blackout is unclear.

The massive outage comes less than a week after a fallen tree knocked out service to 870,000 customers, about half the power authority’s clients, across a broad swath of the US territory.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent critic of recovery efforts since the September hurricane, tweeted Wednesday: “The entire electrical system in Puerto Rico collapses AGAIN! Back to September 20.”

Puerto Rico, home to more than 3 million US citizens, has grappled with widespread power outages for months since Hurricane Maria devastated it.

Puerto Rico has lost 3.4 billion customer-hours of electricity service due to Maria, according to an analysis released Thursday by the economic data analytics and policy firm Rhodium Group. It’s the largest blackout in US history and the second largest in the world — after the outage caused when Typhoon Haiyan tore the Philippines in 2013, killing more than 6,000 people.

By Ray Sanchez and Lonzo Cook, CNN

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