NEW YORK (Reuters) – An estimated 1.2 million homes and businesses remain without power in Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning after Hurricane Fiona hit the island on Sunday, causing an island-wide power outage for its approximately 3.3 million inhabitants.
After hitting Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hurricane Fiona was now heading toward Bermuda and then eastern Canada as a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kilometers per hour). ). The storm has killed at least five people.
Fiona hit Puerto Rico five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to the island in 2017.
Poweroutages.com, which calculates power outages based on data from utility companies, said 1.168 million customers were still without service as of early Wednesday, based on what it called the limited information available from LUMA Energy, which operates the Puerto Rico power grid.
There were approximately 1.267 million without power early Tuesday morning out of a total of 1.468 million power customers in Puerto Rico, according to Poweroutages.com.
That pace of restoration is faster than after Maria, when nearly all of the 1.5 million customers on the island had no power for a week when the now-bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating the grid.
LUMA Energy said late Tuesday that it has restored service to nearly 300,000 customers. LUMA has said that “full restoration could take several days.”
LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy company ATCO Ltd (50%) and US energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (50%).
PREPA still owns much of Puerto Rico’s electrical infrastructure. LUMA won a contract to operate the network in 2020 and began running that system in 2021.
For most of the five years since Maria, the debt-laden government and PREPA were mired in bankruptcy, with Puerto Rico’s finances managed by a federally appointed oversight board.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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