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Nighttime images of Puerto Rico before and after outage - As seen from space! (See pics)

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured these nighttime images of Puerto Rico before and after the outage. 


Nighttime images of Puerto Rico before and after outage - As seen from space! (See pics)

New Delhi: Earlier this week on September 21, 2016, a fire at a power plant in southern Puerto Rico triggered a series of problems across the island’s aging electrical grid, eventually leaving nearly 1.5 million people without power.

 

While the massive blackouts affected customers throughout the island, causing traffic jams and forcing business closures, the effects appeared dramatic from space.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured these nighttime images of Puerto Rico before and after the outage.

The ‘before’ pic was acquired at 2:50 a.m. local time (06:50 Universal Time) on September 21, 2016, the day before blackout; whereas the ‘after’ image that shows the island at 2:31 a.m. local time (06:31 Universal Time) was taken on September 22, 2016.

Here's how Puerto Rico looked on Tuesday night September 21, where the island is covered in lights!

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Puerto Rico night on September 21, image by Jesse Allen, using VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership provided by Miguel Roman (NASA/GSFC). 

And here’s the satellite image that shows the extent of Puerto Rico’s massive blackout!

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Puerto Rico during the first night of blackouts on September 22, image by Jesse Allen, using VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership provided by Miguel Roman (NASA/GSFC). 

Both images were captured by the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, city lights, and reflected moonlight.

“These nighttime satellite images help bring a level of situational awareness so we can clearly identify the extent of the impacts into key lifelines of a city’s infrastructure,” added David Green, the program manager for NASA’s Disaster Response Program. “We hope that power, civil, and health authorities can use imagery and data like this to map the extent of affected areas and prioritize their personnel and resources to restore critical infrastructure.”

The widespread loss of electricity appears across Puerto Rico in all areas outside of the San Juan metropolitan area. Ponce, Humacao, Aguadilla, Arecibo, and Mayagüez all had large numbers of customers losing power.

The fire occurred at the Aguirre power plant in Salinas after a power switch overheated, which has caused a 2,000-gallon (8,000 liter) mineral oil tank to explode and trigger a fire across a 3-acre (1 hectare) area. 

From Zee News

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