SAN JUAN – San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz announced on Monday the start of testing on a 2,500 KW generator to ensure power for the municipal hospital amid slow progress in repairing the damage done to Puerto Rico’s electricity grid by Hurricane Maria.
The generator, which was installed last week along with a 10,000-gallon fuel tank, will be capable of powering the emergency room, operating rooms, the laboratory, radiology and intensive-care units in the event of an outage, the mayor said in a statement.
“This is a permanent solution to the problem of instability in the electrical power system and it will avert ever again having to interrupt our services for this reason,” she said.
Maria, which struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 hurricane, knocked out power, water and telecommunications across the US commonwealth and the process of restoration has been slow.
Puerto Rico’s government is measuring progress on the energy front in terms of the percentage of generating capacity, rather than the number of customers who have regained power.
Nearly 40 percent of generating capacity has been restored, according to authorities.
CNN, meanwhile, reported that in only four of the island’s 78 municipalities have more than half of residents seen normal electric service resumed.