Puerto Rico in the Dark

A NASA satellite captured what Puerto Rico looked like before and after the power outage. (Source: NASA)

There are 3.4 million people living in Puerto Rico who have been without power for more than a week. And the majority of the island, which was pounded by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last month, will remain without electrical power for the foreseeable future, according to authorities.

Although Puerto Rico is part of the American Public Power Association (APPA), the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is in debt and is unable to fix the grid themselves, creating a bottleneck for crews. To move forward, the APPA must first assess the damages island-wide, then determine how much repairs will cost and the timeframe it will take to do so.

The three parts to the electrical grid: generation, transmission and distribution were all destroyed in Puerto Rico which is what makes their situation so dire.  The condition in the mainland United States was different because only the distribution systems were destroyed, not all three. In the meantime, Puerto Ricans are struggling to keep food fresh without refrigerators, stay cool in the hot climate, and get back to some semblance of normalcy without electricity, cell reception or Internet.

Sources: CBS Miami; New Scientist