The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, admitted on Wednesday that “much remains to be done” to restore electricity service on the island, where only 27% of subscribers have electricity three days after Hurricane Fiona.
According to the official portal of the Government of data referring to the cyclone, 395,206 clients of the total of more than 1.4 million have electricity, despite the fact that Pierluisi promised the day before that for this day “a large part” of the population would have electricity.
“Now there is a significant increase from what we had yesterday. I am not satisfied, I want that to continue to increase for the rest of this day until our next press conference,” said the governor.
Regarding the electrical system, Pierluisi said in a press conference that one of the plans is not to turn on generating units or connect “lightly” to avoid “severe damage to those generators” later.
The drinking water system provided by the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) also suffered considerable damage from Fiona, specifically in its water intakes in the dams that supply liquid to citizens.
Until this Wednesday, according to AAA data, 41.38% or some 523,207 subscribers continue without service or suffer from intermittence.
“I want to reiterate that our expectation continues to be to gradually increase the number of electricity and water subscribers who have their service day by day. I continue to hope that by the end of today, a large part of the population will have these services,” said Pierluisi.
Given the catastrophic damage caused by Fiona, the governor has submitted “a major disaster declaration request” to US President Joe Biden to activate financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
In this regard, Pierluisi said he was confident in having a response from the federal government between today and tomorrow “to begin this process as soon as possible.”
Among the visible damage left by the category 1 hurricane, which made landfall in the southwest of the island last Sunday, there are impassable roads, flooded areas, destroyed homes and downed power poles.
There is still no estimate of the damage caused by Fiona on the island, nor have the fatalities directly or indirectly linked to the tragedy been determined, although these could already exceed ten.