Puerto Rico hit by islandwide blackout

In what’s been called the second-largest blackout in history, Puerto Rico lost power entirely on Wednesday — marking the second time the island has suffered a major power failure in less than a week.  

Puerto Rico’s power authority blamed the outage on the failure of a line that originates from the U.S. territory’s largest power plant. The cause of the failure is not yet known, however.

Officials said it could take between 24 to 36 hours for power to be restored.

The outages reflect the continued fragility of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, despite a multi-billion dollar recovery effort underway since Hurricane Maria devastated the island seven months ago.

The island’s power authority had said earlier Wednesday that electricity had been restored to 97 percent of its nearly 1.5 million customers, The New York Times reported. But just three hours later, the islandwide outage struck.

The blackout comes less than a week after a fallen tree knocked out power for about 870,000 customers.

Puerto Ricans expressed their exasperation on Wednesday at the continued grid troubles.

“This is too much,” Luis Oscar Rivera, whose power was only fully restored less than two months ago, told The Associated Press. “It’s like the first day of Maria all over again.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has been critical of post-Maria recovery efforts, expressed her disdain on Twitter.

RELATED: Florida residents scramble to help Puerto Rico

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Florida residents scramble to help Puerto Rico
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Florida residents scramble to help Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican Debora Oquendo, 43, makes a phone call to a doctor for her 10-month-old daughter in a hotel room where she lives, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 4, 2017. Oquendo and her baby girl Genesis Rivera share a hotel room in Orlando, temporarily paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency. They fled Puerto Rico in October after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house. Oquendo, who found a part-time job that pays minimum wage, fears they will be homeless when that assistance runs out this month. "I don't have enough money to move to another place," Oquendo said. "I feel alone, and I'm afraid." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Jose E. Torres fills out a job application at a supermarket after receiving a notification that he does not qualify for aid provided by the state to Puerto Ricans who were affected by Hurricane Maria, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 13, 2017. Torres arrived from Puerto Rico with his wife Luz Brenda Lebron and three children after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The family lives in a hotel, which provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Luz Brenda Lebron leans on a shopping cart after receiving a notification that she does not qualify for aid provided by the state to Puerto Ricans who were affected by Hurricane Maria, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 13, 2017. Lebron arrived from Puerto Rico with her husband Jose E. Torres and three children after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The family lives in a hotel, which provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Food is stored in a chest in hotel room where Luz Brenda Lebron lives with her husband and three children, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 13, 2017. Lebron arrived from Puerto Rico with her family after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The family lives in a hotel, which provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Nydia Irizarry, 45, shows photographs of her daughter Keyshla Betancourt, 22, who suffers from brain cancer, as she receives treatment for cancer at a hospital in Puerto Rico, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 6, 2017. Keyshla came from Puerto Rico in October on a humanitarian flight with her mother and 11-year-old brother Felix Rodriguez after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. Suffering with the blood cancer Hodgkin� Lymphoma, Betancourt was deteriorating fast on an island where hospitals have been badly damaged, doctors and nurses have emigrated and electricity outages are still widespread. She is now on Florida's Medicaid plan, which pays for her daily radiation treatments. Living in a cramped Orlando hotel room, the family has no plans to return to the island. "We are staying for good," Betancourt said. "I cannot get the best medical help in Puerto Rico, and it has become even worse after Hurricane Maria." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Liz Vazquez greets her son Raymond Fernandez Vazquez as he arrives to a hotel after his first day at school in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 6, 2017. Liz, her husband and their two sons arrived to Florida after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Keyshla Betancourt, 22, who suffers from brain cancer, takes off her wig after her first radiotherapy treatment, at a hotel, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 11, 2017. Keyshla came from Puerto Rico in October on a humanitarian flight with her 45-year-old mother Nydia Irizarry and 11-year-old brother Felix Rodriguez after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. Suffering with the blood cancer Hodgkin� Lymphoma, Betancourt was deteriorating fast on an island where hospitals have been badly damaged, doctors and nurses have emigrated and electricity outages are still widespread. She is now on Florida's Medicaid plan, which pays for her daily radiation treatments. Living in a cramped Orlando hotel room, the family has no plans to return to the island. "We are staying for good," Betancourt said. "I cannot get the best medical help in Puerto Rico, and it has become even worse after Hurricane Maria." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Liz Vazquez helps her son Raymond Fernandez Vazquez with his homework in a hotel room where they live, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 6, 2017. Liz, her husband and their two sons arrived to Florida after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Waleska Rivera (L), 42, her husband Hector Oyola, 43, and their son Ethan Alejandro Oyola, 9, lie on a bed as Waleska undergoes her dialysis treatment in a hotel room, where she lives with her family, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 7, 2017. The family left Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria struck the island in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican children accompanied by their parents walk from a school bus stop, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Puerto Rican Felix Rodriguez, 11, hugs his mother Nydia Irizarry, 45, before a school bus picks him up outside a hotel where he lives with his family, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 11, 2017. Felix, his 22-year-old sister Keyshla Betancourt Irizarry and their mother came from Puerto Rico on a humanitarian flight in October after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Nydia Irizarry (R), 45, puts her head on her 22-year-old daughter Keyshla Betancourt's, shoulder who suffers from brain cancer, at a restaurant after Keyshla's first radiotherapy treatment, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 11, 2017. Keyshla came from Puerto Rico in October on a humanitarian flight with her mother and 11-year-old brother Felix Rodriguez after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. Suffering with the blood cancer Hodgkin� Lymphoma, Betancourt was deteriorating fast on an island where hospitals have been badly damaged, doctors and nurses have emigrated and electricity outages are still widespread. She is now on Florida's Medicaid plan, which pays for her daily radiation treatments. Living in a cramped Orlando hotel room, the family has no plans to return to the island. "We are staying for good," Betancourt said. "I cannot get the best medical help in Puerto Rico, and it has become even worse after Hurricane Maria." REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Keyshla Betancourt, 22, lies on a bed after her first radiotherapy treatment, at a hotel where she lives in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 11, 2017. Keyshla came from Puerto Rico in October on a humanitarian flight with her 45-year-old mother Nydia Irizarry and 11-year-old brother Felix Rodriguez after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. Suffering with the blood cancer Hodgkin� Lymphoma, Betancourt was deteriorating fast on an island where hospitals have been badly damaged, doctors and nurses have emigrated and electricity outages are still widespread. She is now on Florida's Medicaid plan, which pays for her daily radiation treatments. Living in a cramped Orlando hotel room, the family has no plans to return to the island. "We are staying for good," Betancourt said. "I cannot get the best medical help in Puerto Rico, and it has become even worse after Hurricane Maria." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Miguel Alvarez and his wife Liz Vazquez sit in a hotel room where they live, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 6, 2017. Miguel and Liz arrived to Florida with their two sons after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Waleska Rivera, 42, looks at her sleeping son Ethan Alejandro Oyola, 9, as she undergoes her dialysis treatment in a hotel room, where she lives with her family, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 7, 2017. Waleska left Puerto Rico with her family when Hurricane Maria struck the island in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
Puerto Ricans Liz Vazquez (L), Anaitza Soler (2nd-L) and Cyd Marie Pagan (2nd-R) fill out documentation to receive aid from an NGO Salvation Army at a hotel in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Felix Martell, 43, hugs his 5-year-old daughter Eliany outside a hotel where they live in Ocala, Florida, U.S., December 2, 2017. Martell is the primary caretaker for the child after his wife died two years ago. He worried Eliany's education would suffer in Puerto Rico due to lengthy school closures following Hurricane Maria. Father and daughter are now living in a run-down hotel paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Martell has yet to find a job. Still, he said there is no turning back. "The girl has learned more in three weeks of school here than in the entire semester on the island," he said. "I am concentrating on her future." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Hygiene products and other things belonging to Puerto Rican Sergio Diaz, 54, lie on a table in a hotel room where Diaz now lives, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., November 30, 2017. Diaz lost his house in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Eliany Martell, 5, reacts to being scolded by her father Felix Martell (L), 43, at a launderette in Ocala, Florida, U.S., December 2, 2017. Martell is the primary caretaker for the child after his wife died two years ago. He worried Eliany's education would suffer in Puerto Rico due to lengthy school closures following Hurricane Maria. Father and daughter are now living in a run-down hotel paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Martell has yet to find a job. Still, he said there is no turning back. "The girl has learned more in three weeks of school here than in the entire semester on the island," he said. "I am concentrating on her future." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Sergio Diaz, 54, sits on a bed in a hotel room where he now lives, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., November 30, 2017. Diaz lost his house in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The hotel provides a temporary housing for displaced Puerto Ricans. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Debora Oquendo, 43, plays with her 10-month-old daughter as she takes a bath in a hotel where she lives, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 12, 2017. Oquendo and her baby girl Genesis Rivera share a hotel room in Orlando, temporarily paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency. They fled Puerto Rico in October after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house. Oquendo, who found a part-time job that pays minimum wage, fears they will be homeless when that assistance runs out this month. "I don't have enough money to move to another place," Oquendo said. "I feel alone, and I'm afraid." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
People take food at a church which distributes aid to Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Rican Debora Oquendo, 43, pushes her baby pram into a hall of a hotel where she lives with her 10-month-old daughter, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 12, 2017. Oquendo and her baby girl Genesis Rivera share a hotel room in Orlando, temporarily paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency. They fled Puerto Rico in October after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house. Oquendo, who found a part-time job that pays minimum wage, fears they will be homeless when that assistance runs out this month. "I don't have enough money to move to another place," Oquendo said. "I feel alone, and I'm afraid." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Puerto Ricans attend a Spanish Mass conducted by Father Jose Rodriguez at the Episcopal Church Jesus of Nazareth, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
Debora Oquendo (C), 43, cries as she leans on her friend at a church which distributes aid to Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 9, 2017. Oquendo and her baby girl Genesis Rivera share a hotel room in Orlando, temporarily paid for by Federal Emergency Management Agency. They fled Puerto Rico in October after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house. Oquendo, who found a part-time job that pays minimum wage, fears they will be homeless when that assistance runs out this month. "I don't have enough money to move to another place," Oquendo said. "I feel alone, and I'm afraid." REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
People buy groceries at Willers Supermarket which specializes in Puerto Rican products, in Kissimmee, Florida, U.S., December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
People buy food from a Puerto Rican food truck in Kissimmee, Florida, U.S., December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
People buy Puerto Rican food at Willers Supermarket which specialises in Puerto Rican products, in Kissimmee, Florida, U.S., December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
People dance as Jibaro music band plays at El Jibarito Restaurant where Puerto Ricans gather, in Kissimmee, Florida, U.S., December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez 
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