After seven months and a loss of billions of dollars, almost everybody in the hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico had their lights back on — until a massive power outage plunged the island into darkness once again.
A power line failure in the unincorporated territory of the United States cut electricity to almost all 3.4 million residents. The Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, said "technical personnel" were working to determine a cause and it could take up to 24 to 36 hours to bring power back online.
The latest blackout adds to the political headaches for the allegedly corrupt PREPA. Just last month, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee issued a letter, seeking answers to allegations of corruption at Puerto Rico’s electric utility.
Lawmakers are frustrated with the authorities who are continuously failing to provide uninterrupted supply of electricity to Puerto Ricans. Moreover, the residents are exasperated by these series of blackouts as just last week major outage affected roughly 840,000 people.
More importantly, lawmakers can't seem to understand why President Donald Trump is not addressing the issue, which has affected the course of lives of many and has instead chosen to repeatedly stress his favorite agenda — protection of the border from immigrants.
#PuertoRicohasn't recovered after #HurricaneMaria. Thousands still without power, scores of schools & businesses shuttered & now an island-wide blackout.— Anthony G. Brown (@RepAnthonyBrown) April 18, 2018
We can't be focused on a non-existent crisis on our border when Americans are suffering from a real crisis in Puerto Rico. https://t.co/FRNtEcn598
It has been over six months since Maria hit Puerto Rico, but the island's power grid is still failing.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 18, 2018
This was one of the worst power outages in *world history* even before today.
Millions of Americans in Puerto Rico need and deserve more help than they are getting. https://t.co/bj9kaos9s3
Trump's nonchalance when it comes to the plight of Puerto Ricans is well-documented. He once called them “politically motivated ingrates.”
Moreover, instead of prioritizing the restoration of the hurricane-inflicted island, the U.S. commander-in-chief always has something more important to talk about. For instance, at the time of the recent blackout, Trump was busy blasting California for fighting the Trump administration over the so-called sanctuary cities.
He also unleashed his contempt for former FBI director James Comey for being “the worst FBI director in history” but just refused to comment on the crisis that had befallen Puerto Ricans.
Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted and pointed out how the U.S., a country swarming with resources, ought to deal with the situation.
We are the wealthiest country in the world. Our full resources must be brought to fix not just this blackout, but the ongoing outages that have left hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans without power since Hurricane Maria.https://t.co/uax2XJoHGu— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 18, 2018
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described the latest blackout as “unacceptable.”
Island-wide power outage in Puerto Rico—again. This is unacceptable. We can and must do more to help Puerto Rico recover and rebuild stronger. My office is in touch with the administration & hoping to get to the bottom of this ASAP.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 18, 2018
Banner/Thumbnail: REUTERS/Gabriel Lopez Albarran