The shortage of diesel complicates the panorama in the recovery works of the AAA

The Executive President of the Waters and Sewers Authority (PRASA), Doriel Pagán, agreed that without the help of municipal governments, the process of restoring drinking water service would be further delayed, given the complications in diesel distribution chains.

On Saturday, six days after Hurricane Fiona, hundreds of AAA facilities continue to operate with generators, which in many cases are provided by municipalities. In other cases, municipalities provide the diesel needed for generators to activate water filtration or pumping stations.

“We certainly had our challenges in our facilities. At the moment we have carriers that distribute diesel in the regions, but in this sense we have also had the support of the mayors who, in their various municipalities, have helped us to keep their facilities in operation”, has said Pagan.

At noon today, 80% of AAA subscribers were in service. The remaining 20% ​​represented some 265,548 customers who had no water in their residence or business or suffered from intermittent service. The figure had risen by around seven percentage points over a 24-hour period.

“I would tell you that all (the municipalities) have helped us. If there was no cleaning of the access to the dam, with heavy equipment, diesel… it is really teamwork,” said Pagán.

In Cayey, for example, Mayor Rolando Ortiz explained that he was collaborating with machines to provide access to the pumping plant in the Culebra district. Although much of the municipality has electricity, Ortiz criticized LUMA Energy for not properly coordinating work to ensure the AAA facility was powered.

Ortiz estimated that, as a result, less than 5% of the municipality had water that morning.

“The main need is water. If they power the water pumps, people can wait for the water to reach their homes. But if they don’t power the pumps, things get complicated. I already have a residence, the Luis Muñoz Morales, which has no water or electricity, in the urban sector, and the situation is critical, very desperate for these neighbors,” said Ortiz, who clarified that he had had good communication with the management of the AAA.

Pagán, in his interview with El Nuevo Día earlier this afternoon, clarified that 620 facilities were running on central grid power, 760 were connected to a generator and 830 had no electricity to operate. PRASA has stationary generators in 1,250 of its more than 2,000 facilities, along with another 235 portable emergency generators that can be distributed as needed.

Of the more than 265,000 consumers without water, 240,000 lacked service due to lack of electricity, while for the remaining 25,000 the cause was problems in the AAA infrastructure. Turbidity issues in the liquid, which at the start of the week left tens of thousands of subscribers without service, are now almost non-existent, Pagán said.

The official indicated that PRASA employees and private contractors were carrying out repair works in all regions of the country, but mentioned specific works that should resume service today, Saturday, in the areas of Humacao and Las Piedras. , as well as Lares and The Marias.

For the most affected sectors of the southern zone, however, it is still “very speculative” to predict when they will resume service, he admitted.

“We have had all our staff since day zero and we continue to work. Our expectation, that’s what I can share right now, is that we can continue to increase the 80% we have now,” Pagán said.


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