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A facility operated by Luma Energy. On Thursday, much of Puerto Rico lost power after a Luma plant exploded. Photo: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of people were without power in Puerto Rico Thursday night after a large fire broke out at a main substation of Luma energy, a private company that took over the island's Electric Power Authority earlier this month, AP reports.

The state of play: The cause of the fire in the capital San Juan remains unknown. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said local and federal authorities are investigating the blaze and taking the necessary precautions to reestablish electricity. "Every government resource is active and available to work on this emergency," he said.

  • The FBI in San Juan said in an emailed statement that it is "evaluating the situation concerning the massive black out," but noted it couldn't "confirm or deny" any investigation.
  • Luma said restoration of power had started and would continue overnight.

The big picture: Since Luma took over the power authority, customers have complained of increased power outages, per AP.

  • "Government officials have urged patience, noting that Luma inherited thousands of outages and only just took over a system running on rickety infrastructure, much of it patched together after Hurricane Maria," AP writes.

Go deeper

Puerto Rico's Supreme Court: Not guilty verdicts must be unanimous

Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Puerto Rico's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that not guilty verdicts in criminal cases must be unanimous, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. territory has allowed a minimum of nine out of 12 jurors for not guilty verdicts for nearly seven decades.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Gottlieb: CDC hampered U.S. response to COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The CDC moved too slowly at several points in the coronavirus pandemic, ultimately hindering the U.S. response, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb writes in a new book, Uncontrolled Spread.

The big picture: The book argues that American intelligence agencies should have a much bigger role in pandemic preparedness, even if that's sometimes at the expense of public health agencies like the CDC.

911's digital makeover

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A next-generation 911 would allow the nation's 6,000 911 centers to accept texts, videos and photos.

The big picture: U.S. emergency communications have remained stubbornly analog, but Congress is about to take another run at dragging 911 into the digital age.

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