Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Puerto Rico blackout gets global attention

By on September 22, 2016

aguirre-fire-1SAN JUAN – Major media outlets such as USA Today, BBC News, NPR, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) been reporting on Puerto Rico’s island-wide power outage. Although all of their websites have been using The Associated Press wire’s coverage, only the WSJ has continued to write follow-up stories about the blackout.

Caribbean Business sources said the fire, which started in the Aguirre Complex, one of the island’s main thermoelectric plants, was extinguished by firefighters in an hour and 20 minutes. Also, emergency responders worked through the night to restore electricity but were unable to do so due to complications. Classes were cancelled and government offices are expected to reopen at noon.

“This is a very serious event,” Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said. “The system is not designed to withstand a failure of this magnitude.”

Puerto Ricans also took to social media to express their preoccupations, and to post memes about the event.

Major outages worldwide

To be classified as a power outage the electric service interruption must affect more than 1,000 people and last at least an hour.

One of the biggest power outages worldwide occurred in India in July 30, 2012. It lasted 24 hours and affected 620 million people. Another outage occurred in the U.S. Northeast, also affecting Canada and some 30 million people on Nov. 9, 1965.

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