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Puerto Rico blackout: electrical substation fire cuts power to 400,000 people across island
“The fire has caused major power outages across the island. The situation is being assessed and work is underway to restore the system,” LUMA Energy tweeted, stating that restoration efforts will continue overnight.
As of Thursday evening, about 400,000 customers in Puerto Rico were without power, LUMA Energy said, which is more than one in 10 people on the island.

The fire started in a transformer at LUMA’s substation in Monacillos, the company said. Puerto Rico police, fire and medical personnel are on the scene and no injuries have been reported.

Calling it an explosion, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said federal and state law enforcement authorities were investigating the cause.

“All the resources of the PR government are available to manage the emergency caused by the fire at the Monacillos substation in Río Piedras. Firefighters have already arrived on the scene to handle the situation. [firefighters] confirm more details, we’ll let you know, ”Pierluisi said on Twitter.

“The priority must be to restore electrical service as soon as possible and our people can rest assured that we are making sure that is the case. At the same time, as soon as we have the results of the investigations related to the cause of this incident, whoever is responsible will have to answer them before the people of Puerto Rico, “he said.

In a press conference with local media on Thursday, LUMA Energy CEO Wayne Stensby said that at the height of the blackout 800,000 customers were without power, according to El Nuevo Día newspaper.

“The FBI is assessing the situation regarding the massive blackout,” Limary Cruz-Rubio, head of public affairs for the FBI San Juan, told CNN, without commenting further on the matter.

Website hit by cyber attack earlier today

LUMA Energy said it was the victim of a previous Distributed Denial of Service attack, in which a site is deliberately hit with massive amounts of web traffic in an attempt to overwhelm it.

“The DDoS attack has been identified and generated 2 million hits per second,” LUMA Energy said in a statement. “As a result, many customers may have had difficulty accessing information related to their accounts.”

There was no immediate indication of a link between the website attack and the substation explosion.

“The attack has been reported to the relevant authorities and LUMA is awaiting the results of an ongoing investigation,” the statement said.

LUMA is a joint venture of Quanta Services and Canadian energy company ATCO, which has been chosen by the Puerto Rican government to take over the operation of the electricity grid of its former electric utility, PREPA. LUMA has been in charge of the electricity network since June 1.

CNN’s Christina Carrega contributed to this report.


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