NOAA-20 Captures Day-Night Band Images of Most Recent Power Outage in Puerto Rico
At approximately 11:04 am (EDT) on April 18, an excavator involved in an effort
to remove a tower toppled by Hurricane Maria got too close to a power line and
caused an electrical ground fault near Salinas, Puerto Rico. The incident
resulted in an island-wide power outage. According to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said
that, as of 2:00 am (EDT), approximately 43% of the island's customers had
their commercial power restored.
About an hour before FEMA's report, NOAA-20, the newest NOAA polar-orbiting
satellite, flew over the region with a near-nadir pass (i.e., almost directly
overhead) and its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument
captured the following Day-Night Band image.
Although there were clouds on roughly the eastern third of the island preventing
any rigorous analysis, the western roughly 2/3's of the island was relatively
cloud free. As seen when comparing the Day-Night Band imagery from about a month
ago (March 19, on roughly the 6 month anniversary of Maria hitting Puerto Rico),
there was a noticeable loss of light, particularly in the rural areas. However,
the larger cities (such as San Juan, Arecibo, Maunabo, Mayagüez, Naguabo and Toa
Baja) appeared to have power. Although some lights can be seen in the rural
areas, they are likely powered by generators, meaning most of these less
populated areas are without power.