An explosion and fire at the Monacillos power plant electric substation in San Juan left northern Puerto Rico into darkness late Sunday. Heavy black smoke billowed from the substation as neighbors in the area described on social media seeing the sky turn orange following a loud explosion. Fortunately there were no injuries.
Some areas that had regained power in the aftermath of the September storm were plunged into darkness again. The island's Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day as they worked to repair a substation that controls voltage. Sections of San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Guaynabo, Carolina, Caguas, and Juncos were affected.
Explosion at an electric power substation in Porto Rico
Officials said the fire was quickly extinguished and that the explosion knocked two other substations offline. The cause of the explosion was due to mechanical failure. 400 megawatts of generation were lost after explosion. Puerto Rico's governor announced last month that he plans to privatize the state-owned power company. By late Sunday, electricity workers had been able to restore power to key locations, including the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, as well as the Medical Center. On Monday, the power was restored to most customers.