SAN JUAN – Some 40 percent of customers of Puerto Rico’s state-run PRASA water distribution company have recovered their water supply that had been cut off by damages caused by Hurricane Maria on the Caribbean island.
Puerto Rican Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario told a press conference on Monday that this means some 500,000 have got their water service back.
The official said that of those 500,000, a total of 300,000 have recovered the service partially, every other day.
Rosario said the electricity situation is unfortunately not that positive, nor is it possible as yet to give even an approximate date for its restoration.
He said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has managed to resume service at the Puerto Rico Medical Center, the largest hospital on the island, and at Hospital HIMA San Pablo Bayamon and at Mayaguez Hospital.
The situation is complicated, the secretary said, since 80 percent of the power line poles were knocked down by Hurricane Maria.
With regard to the telephone system, he said that on Sunday cases of vandalism occurred when a number of individuals tried to cut the ATT telephone company’s fiber-optic phone lines.
The official noted that 27 percent of cellphone users have recovered service, while 65 percent of landline phones are back to normal.
The Claro phone company has made great progress in the northern and eastern parts of the island, while T-Mobile and ATT are working on the metropolitan area.
Rosario also referred to the alleged abusive fares imposed by the airlines after Hurricane Maria, and said the government expects the cooperation of the Aerostar company – the company that operates San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport – but said that is a matter wholly in the hands of the airlines.