Satellite view of lights in Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria (4 September 2017) and after (7 October 2017). Photo: CNN

By Leyla Santiago, Khushbu Shah, and Rachel Clarke
4 November 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CNN) – Towns and communities across Puerto Rico are entirely without power, more than six weeks after Hurricane Maria.

The island's leadership is touting restoration figures that show nearly 40% of electricity generation has resumed -- but it doesn't say how much of that power is actually reaching homes, schools and hospitals.

Officials from the government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) don't even know how many people have power for lights, air conditioners, refrigerators and other basic necessities.

So, while some power plants can generate power, the ability to transmit it to homes may not be possible in some areas.

One of the union leaders for PREPA employees, Evans Castro Aponte, was hearing things were so bad he estimated just 5% of customers have electricity. That would leave 95% of the 3.4 million Americans on the island without any power unless they can run costly and loud generators that have become difficult to find on the island.

With no reliable government information, CNN tried to contact each of the 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico, which are coordinating their own recoveries.

Most calls simply did not go through. Along with so much here, communication is intermittent at best.

Some 42 of the municipalities could not be contacted.

Puerto Rico power restored by municipality, 4 November 2017. Graphic: CNN

Of the 36 towns we did reach, 10 said they had 0% power restoration. Others estimated 1, 2, 10, perhaps 20% of homes, businesses and amenities had electricity. Just four regions reported that they were more than half back on line -- Ponce and Guayanilla with 60% of residents with power; San Germán, where 75% of buildings have electricity; and Culebra -- an island off Puerto Rico that's home to just fewer than 2,000 people, where the mayor said 90% had power.

Humacao, an area where almost 54,000 live, has no power. Las Piedras, home to nearly 40,000, has no power. The same story for Loiza, where 30,000 live. And the list goes on and on, six weeks after the blackout. [more]

Puerto Rico's leaders don't know who has power. We tried to find out



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