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Widespread Blackouts Reported In Parts Of The Dominican Republic

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Widespread blackouts have been affecting several parts of the Dominican Republic since Monday. As a result, some businesses and homes have been left without power in the affected areas. Utility companies are working to restore power and the situation is likely to resolve later this week. The power outages and high temperatures this week are pushing up the demand for electricity, further worsening the problem. 

Power lines

In the past few days, various parts of the Dominican Republic have been affected by constant blackouts. The first blackouts were reported on Monday, and they continued throughout Tuesday across more regions. The most affected area is Cibao, in the northern part of the country. Home to over 5 million people, it is the country’s most populated region.

Power plants

It was initially believed that Punta Catalina, one of the country’s largest power plants, was experiencing technical difficulties. However, authorities later reported that two of the country’s most important generators were undergoing a routine repair. According to the country’s electrical grid management company, the two generators are responsible for 16% of all energy production in the Dominican Republic.

Cables

Various essential services have been temporarily halted as a result. Public transport, as well as several industries, have had to modify their operating schedule or shut down their activity while power is being restored. In the city of Santiago, more traffic agents were placed on busy streets to direct traffic in case traffic lights stopped working. The outages also affect the distribution of fresh drinking water, leaving residents without access to cold water. 

Caribbean bus

Puerto Plata, an important resort destination, is also affected. Many of its larger resorts have built solar energy panels in recent years, which provide an independent source of energy. Taking advantage of the island’s abundant sunshine, solar energy is cleaner and less prone to disruptions from the national grid. 

Small businesses, however, have been hit especially hard by the blackouts. Compared to larger companies, they lack access to backup generators and rely on the country’s energy grid for a constant supply. Electricity demand has spiked in recent days due to warm weather, putting pressure on the country’s limited power stations. With temperatures of up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in the Dominican Republic this week, residents have been left without power to cool down their homes. 

Lightning Strike in Santo Domingo

So far, electrical outages have been reported in the Santiago, La Vega, Espaillat, Valverde, and Hermanas Mirabal provinces. However, other parts of the country have also seen short-lasting outages. On Tuesday, Edenorte, the utility company in charge of power networks in the country’s northern part, said it was working to resolve the situation. 

The company later issued a statement saying that two of the country’s most important power generators are temporarily shut down for maintenance. The company has apologized for the outages, noting that the high temperatures in recent days have led to increased demand. Customers across the affected areas can expect more outages until the generators have been repaired.

Heavy Rains Damage Power Lines In April

This April saw some of the highest precipitation levels in the Dominican Republic since 2017. The rainy weather caused damage to homes across the country as well as power outages due to trees falling on transmission lines.

Solar panels

According to various forecast services, the upcoming tropical storm season will be stronger than average. With up to 20 tropical storms in the long-term forecast, visitors should be aware of hurricane warnings. Cyclones may develop unexpectedly, leading to power failures and blocked roads.

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