An island wide power outage struck most households in Puerto Rico yesterday at around 2:30 PM. Many are also without water as it cannot be pumped without electricity. Thus, people in Puerto Rico are facing a grave danger. Media coverage in the US is scarce.
The outage was caused by a fire that struck a power plant yesterday. According to El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s government and its electric power authority (FAA) reported at around 2:30 pm today that power had been restored to 200 thousand out of 1475 electric power company customers. Governor Garcia Padilla declared the island in a state of emergency.
According to Puerto Rico’s Water Authorities (AAA) there are 341 thousand accounts with no access to water. If one estimates three people per account, that comes to over 1 million people with no access to water. The Bayamon and Guaynabo municipalities are reportedly the most affected areas.
The island’ power authority (FAA) declared a goal of restoring 50% of its accounts by this afternoon, and to return to normality by tomorrow.
A warning of thunderstorms and flash floodings was announced for the island’s central region until 5:45PM today by the island’s “national” meteorological service (SNM). Puerto Ricans are US citizens and thus not an independent nation, but a “free associated state.” El Nuevo Dia reports that the island’s independence advocates plan to celebrate “El Grito de Lares,” the launching of Puerto Rico’s first rebellion against Spain, tomorrow.
Given that they are US citizens, when is President Obama going to publicly address this crisis? Isn’t he aware? Is what he’s doing to help a top secret?
And, I can’t help but wonder, are the Independentistas really going to celebrate tomorrow? I understand that the historic date should be acknowledged, as it is part of a Puerto Rican’s identity, in this life and world. (I write “in this life and world” because I am a Catholic, and consider eternity and salvation the highest priority.) But the duty to insure that no one is without water, food, and safe lodging (hopefully with electric power) is the immediate highest, earthly, priority. And special priority should be given to elderly people and to children (specially those that may fall through the cracks, such as those of broken families).
As it turns out, great festivities, beginning with a mass, are reportedly scheduled for the Grito de Lares “celebration” tomorrow in Lares, Puerto Rico. And it has been rapidly politicized to include a talk advocating the excarceration of Oscar López Rivera and Miriam Montes. The latter is said to be the cousin of a Castro tyranny spy. The Socialist party will be part of that talk. Well, if they were holding a political meeting with a mass in Cuba, they’d surely be beaten up by the Castro tyranny which they unabashedly defend. Everyone knows that, no?
Yes anyone who reads news on Cuba knows. But many, as one can see, pretend it does not matter that Cubans are beaten up in Cuba for doing the same thing Puerto Rican Socialists and Independentistas (Puerto Rico Independence Party members) plan to do in Puerto Rico, or perhaps they want to pretend they don’t know. And these want power for themselves and their ilk in Puerto Rico.
And this “celebration” with its “human rights” talk is still being planned while somewhere between 341 thousand and over 1 million fellow residents in Puerto Rico don’t have access to water in their homes.
They see the world upside down. Power for us first; water for you, perhaps next, if you are still alive.
I will confess there was a time when independentistas and socialists had me partially fooled, given what happened in Cuban history between 1898 and 1952, and given that I am a Catholic, and therefore am committed to stand on the side of what is just in the City of Man. But these people do not act in matter that is more just than those they wish to replace.
The cavalry is being sent. Well, finally. At 4:33 PM, today, El Nuevo Dia reported that the US Federal Government Agency for Emergencies (FEMA) offered
72 high capacity power generators to help “palliate.”
Correction: It’s 77 generators, not 72.
It shouldn’t have taken FEMA until the next day to address an emergency like this. That’s outrageous. But it’s on the table now. Thanks be to God.
The director of Puerto Rico’s electric power authority (AEE), Mr. Javier Quintana, declared that the fire had not been an act of sabotage, but that it had been “provoked by an overload of energy to the system, which induced that it become paralyzed as a defense mechanism.” But what caused the overload of energy is not explained in the newspaper’s report.
This is supposed to be the worst power outage in 36 years in Puerto Rico. But it’s not clear if its the worst because of the percent of the population affected, or because of the number of power plants that went down, or both.
What is the general FEMA policy in responding to something like this? Would it take until the next day in a US mainland state? Does it vary by state? This is very serious. The US must be prepared to respond to something like this, immediately.
Progress, yes,but what about WATER?
Progress is being made as power has been restored in several municipalities. But nothing has been reported about densely populated ones in the greater metropolitan area such as Bayamon and Guaynabo, which have also been reported as some of the main areas with no access to water in homes. These people will now have been without power or water in their homes for 30 hours. According to El Periodico La Perla, they may not have access until tomorrow. I don’t know how one can survive without water for 2 days, specially in a hot climate. The Federal and Puerto Rico governments should coordinate to send numerous trucks with water immediately to all areas that have no access. They could also send public buses with drinking water. If, as reported, there is no water in those areas, they should not delay.
At this link one can see NASA images comparing Puerto Rico on September 21 at 2:50 a.m. and September 22 at 2:31 a.m.
September 23, 2016
Before midnight, Puerto Rico’s governor Garcia Padilla gave a 45 minute press conference. The director of the electric power authority (Autoridad de Energia Electrica or AAA), and the island’s fire chief also spoke. It was followed by questions from reporters.
The governor informed that 375 thousand accounts, or 25% of all accounts had had their power restored, adding that 15 thousand more had been restored by the end of the press conference. He said that by morning more than half should have power.
When asked, the governor hesitated to firmly promise when it would be that 90% of the island’s electric power consumers would have their power restored. His caution, he explained, was due to the complexity of the system, the possibility of unforeseen events, and the fact that workers have been working non-stop for 30 hours. Work is continuing through a second night. With said warning he packaged his expectation that power would be restored to 90% by Saturday, September 24.
He thanked FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for its support, and commended the power authority workers and fire department for their courage, professionalism, and solidarity. He expressed satisfaction that management and union members worked side by side without distinction, for, he explained, they understood the seriousness of the situation the island faces..
Workers had to work with two tanks that were less than one foot away from the tank that exploded, and the governor commended their courage.
Public employees and educators were called back to work on Friday, but schools remain closed because of safety concerns. Wireless is now operating normally, as is the airport, ports, and ferries. The urban train remains closed because security requirements need to be met but public buses are operational. The government is coordinating with private hospitals to get them back on the grid once it is possible.
No mention was made of those without access to water except to say that the electric authority is working in coordination with the water authority to turn on water in those sectors where electricity has been restored. But what are they drinking until power and water are restored? Why didn’t someone ask? When will someone ask?
“Over 1 million” accounts are reported to have had their electric power restored while 205 thousand still don’t have drinking water in their homes.
This is according to an article in El Nuevo Dia updated at 12:22 PM, reporting on the governor’s latest press conference today. Garcia Padilla said that 1.1 million or 75% of accounts had power restored, and that there would be a return to normality today, absent unforeseeable events.
One can infer, hence, that out of the 375 thousand that don’t have power restored, 170 thousand have water in their homes. But how is it that they do? Do they have it pumped from a power plant that has been restored? If so, why couldn’t the same have been done for the others?
Two restored units fail again, as thus power service for the clients they serve, whose number has not yet been reported.
Here is a link to a photo of Puerto Rico’s socialists
taken on September 22, 1:53 PM, almost 24 hours after the lights went out in Puerto Rico.
The Castro tyranny (not “Cuba”) has been hosting a nine day conference in Havana, under the illegitimate regime’s “Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP)” (“Cuban” Institute of Friendship with the Peoples). Presenting itself as the defender of people’s liberty, no laughing matter, the Cuban tyranny today celebrates Puerto Rico’s “Grito de Lares” with Puerto Rican socialists in Cuba. President Obama must be delighted.
Correction: The photo link is most likely an earlier one from El Nuevo Dia’s archives. It’s somewhat ambiguous whether the date listed is the date of the photo, but it probably is not. It’s probably only the date of the posting. A caption on Google reads: “El evento será dedicado al fenecido socialista y líder sindical, Jorge Farinacci. (Archivo / GFR Media).” Translation: The event will be dedicated to the deceased socialist and syndicalist leader, Jorge Farinacci. (Archive/GFR Media).
The latest news update by El Nuevo Dia says that “normality” may be restored by tomorrow, Saturday, indicating that for 75% of account holders power has been restored. No mention is made of those without water, which is necessary to stay alive.
I will rewrite it for them:
Only 270 thousand people without electricity in Puerto Rico. Only a portion of these without access to water in their homes for only more than 2 days. See you later.
Reader, I hope you get it.
US based Puerto Ricans are 2%* of the US population (5.1 million); over 40% reside in New York and Florida. Now just go take a look at the coverage of this humanitarian crisis at the
New York Times, of New York, ** home to over 1 million US citizens of Puerto Rican descent. Or navigate next dohttp://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/3651000or to the Wall Street Journal. Nothing. You will find nothing.
And the ones on the island of which the US took possession in 1898 are also US citizens. They total 3.47 million.
Thus, there are approximately 8.5 million US citizens of Puerto Rican descent, constituting around 2.6% of the US population. We know that 270 thousand of them have been without electricity for 2 1/2 days. And of these, it’s no longer reported (even in Puerto Rico) how many have no access to water in their homes.
*I had incorrectly stated that US based Puerto Ricans were 5% of The US population.
** An article was found in the New York Times. See update of September 30 below.
September 24, 2016
Never mind that approximately 1 out of every 8.5 residents of New York City (Pop. 8.5 Million) is of Puerto Rican descent. That a couple of hundred thousand in Puerto Rico, perhaps even family members of city residents, have no access to electric power, or even water at home, is evidently not newsworthy, as far as the aforementioned New York newspapers are concerned. Well, they might even argue, no reason to get alarmed after only two and one half days. We’ll just publish something once some are confirmed dead. No one, not even those of Puerto Rican descent, need to know what is happening yet.
Over 98% of electric power account holders have had their power restored as of 11:45 AM, according to Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (AEE). This was reported by El Nuevo Dia at noon today.
But still, 17, 893 account holders remain without power. Assuming 3 persons per account would mean that there are still over 51 thousand people without power for 3 days now. Since no mention is made of water having been restored for these, one should not assume it has.
San Juan and Caguas are the two main areas affected with 88% and 8% respectively. The cities of Mayaguez, Arecibo, Ponce, Bayamon and Carolina, in combination, account for the other 4%.
The Puerto Rico National Guard began distributing the 77 high capacity generators provided by FEMA. This means that these had nothing to with the recovery. Are they supposed to serve as a backup, rather than as a “palliative,” as FEMA had previously announced?
Puerto Rico’s water authority (AAA) reported today that 50 thousand accounts are still without service. Assuming 3 people per account would mean that 150 thousand still don’t have water in their homes for 3 full days.
Today thousands of Dominican Republic immigrants in Puerto Rico venerated the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, on the Feast of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes.
After expressing preoccupation for the criminality, delinquency and impunity reigning in the country, and in a nod of communion with Jorge Bergoglio (aka “Pope” Francis), the bishop of Vega, Monsignor Héctor Rafael Rodríguez, condemned the “destruction of natural resources,” although also the “disorder in the streets where few respect traffic laws.”
Note: The reason for my quotation marks on the word pope is that I no longer believe that Jorge Bergoglio is the Vicar of Christ, of God the Son, but, unlike Jorge Bergoglio, I remain Catholic. This is a personal judgment based on what the Church taught up to 1958, and what I had thought it was teaching between then and when Jorge Bergoglio claimed the papacy. Perhaps I will write more about that later, but briefly, it’s evident that Jorge Bergoglio contradicts the gospel as well as other revelations of the New Testament, and the consistent teachings of several popes who preceded him, specially with regard to his “interreligious” initiatives. Given that I have written other posts about Jorge Bergoglio, I wish to set the record straight as to where I stand at this time.
September 25, 2016
It’s now over 4 days that there was an island wide power failure in Puerto Rico. Most people have had power and water restored. *Today the island’s main newspaper, El Nuevo Dia, didn’t report on anyone who is affected any longer. One must be thankful that another newspaper, Periodico La Perla, or La Perla del Sur, did report on the water authority’s (AAA) Sunday report. Indeed, there are still 22,811 accounts without access to water; at 3 people per account that’s perhaps some 68, 433 people in Puerto Rico with no water in their homes. One wonders how they are making out and , what, if anything, the local or federal governments are doing to help them until water is restored.
* Correction: Today the island’s main newspaper, El Nuevo Dia, didn’t report on anyone who is affected any longer in its front online page.
On September 26, I discovered an article apparently published on September 25 during a search.
September 26, 2016
A petition has been made to investigate why backup emergency plants failed to function adequately during the power failure. It was filed by the local Independent Consumer Protection Office’s (OIPC).
I found nothing new on the thousands left without water. Both articles yesterday did mention that the problems are caused by mechanical reasons, “among others.” Rain and overflowing rivers are also causes mentioned here. One percent of all water accounts remain without service. It’s now five days since the blackout.
Surprise, surprise. Is it magic? Google searches are now showing links to Associated Press articles also published by the New York Times supposedly on September 21 and September 24. This is so even though the September 24 Associated Press article included somewhere in the New York Times acknowledged that 50 thousand were without water.
Officials said about 50,000 clients, mostly in the island’s northeast area, remained without water…
Screenshots I took demonstrate that there was absolutely nothing on the New York Times’ front online page on December 22, 2016 at the time I took them. Why, New York Times? Not Important? I do however grant that for international security reasons the Times might have hesitated. But I can think of no other.
Let’s go now to the Wall Street Journal. The first presidential debate was over about an hour and a half ago, and they classified numerous matters as either having been addressed by one candidate, by the other, by both, or by neither. They further classified these matters into 4 themes: Economy, Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, and The Campaign. Puerto Rico and Cuba were not addressed by either. But what is surprising is that Puerto Rico was included under foreign policy. Thus, according to the Wall Street Journal, the 3 1/2 million US citizens in Puerto Rico should be regarded as foreigners. If this is not a discriminatory statement about a class of US citizens, what is it? The article is entitled “What’s left unsaid” and is dated Sept. 26, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
WHAT’S LEFT UNSAID
Of the hundreds of issues and controversies that have emerged during this election, the ones Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raised during the first presidential debate revealed their priorities. We tracked more than 150 phrases and names to see what the candidates mentioned—and which topics they ignored entirely.
A screenshot of the Wall Street Journals’s Foreign Policy categories:
September 27, 2016
The two known Puerto Rico news sources that had reported on the tens of thousand of water accounts without service haven’t reported news directly related to this in the past 24 hours. Nor have any deaths or disease outbreak possibly caused by lack of access to water been reported.
How then might one characterize the new situation at this point? Tens of thousands learn to live without water in their homes in Puerto Rico?
Tomorrow, Puerto Rico’s senate begins public hearings on the …
“…massive power outage that left 1.4 million service subscribers of the Electric Power Authority (Autoridad de Energia Elecgrica or AEE) without light, and hundreds of thousands without water.”
Hopefully the ones remaining without water will be addressed then.
September 30, 2016
I discovered an online article in the New York Times entitled Fire at Power Plant Leaves Puerto Rico in the Dark with a publishing date of September 21. However, it treats the island wide outage as if it were a normal occurrence, even as it mentions that 1.5 million accounts were affected (almost everyone!). No mention is made of the hundreds of thousands left without water in their homes. In a search of the Replica edition of the New York Times print edition I found another article, this one entitled Puerto Rico Plant Fire Cuts Power, by the same author , published on September 22, on page 22.