SAN JUAN (CBSMiami) – Puerto Rico continues to struggle after the strongest earthquake to hit the island in more than a century.
Residents are having to cope with strong aftershocks and some areas are still without running water or electricity.READ MORE: Broward Health Ending COVID Shots As Demand Decreases, Availability Increases
A power plant in the southern end of the island was knocked offline by the quake.
Angel Perez, the operations manager at the Costa Sur power plant, said the tanks thank are used to clean water were damaged. This function is the first step in the energy generation process.
With the tanks knocked over, “we cannot even think to provide power to anybody,” said Perez.
Those tanks the water is sent to even larger tanks which Perez said have also been damaged.
“There is a fracture in the metal, okay, in the base of the tank,” said Perez.READ MORE: Initiatives Announced To Reduce Pollution In Miami-Dade County
The power plant’s control room was also damaged, it’s not safe for anyone to work there.
With Costa Sur not generating any energy, hundreds of thousands of people will be without power.
Perez said they are working on repairs around the clock and it will most likely be more than a month before they are back online and producing electricity.
That’s a conservative estimate compared that to what the head of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority said.
“The facility will be out for, probably, over a year,” said Jose Ortiz.MORE NEWS: Insurance Regulators Approve Smaller Rate Hikes For Citizens Property Insurance
The bottom line, the Costa Sur plant is pivotal because 25 percent of the island’s power comes from it. As of now, it doesn’t appear the top leadership is on the same page as to when they can get it back up and running.