CNFL work crews making repairs to homes, adjacent to the substation, affected by the explosion Wednesday night. Alonso Tenorio / La Nacion

Q COSTA RICA  – The explosion and fire that knocked out of service the El Porvenir (Desamparados) electrical substation on Wednesday affected the daily lives of some 500,000 in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) says the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) – National Power and Light Company.

The 7:00 pm explosion plunged 121,200 CFNL customers that is the equivalent of about 500,000 people who depend daily on the electrical service from the substation.

Although the CNFL was able to restore power to 85% of the population by the early hours of Thursday morning, it wasn’t until 6:00 pm, almost 24 hours, for some 4,500 customers before the lights were back on.

Infograph by La Nacion

Uncharged cellular phones, food spoiling in refrigerators, hot water showers and closed streets were some of the difficulties faced by many while work crews worked to restore service.

On Thursday, officials of the CNFL ruled out the report that the sparks from one of the light posts near the station caused the event. Some residents told the media that they had called the CNFL to report the “averia” (fault) and that it remained unattended. However, the CNFL says it did make the repair ours ahead of the explosion.

The State power and light company also defended accusations of poor maintenance and outdated equipment as the cause.

Luis Fernando Andrés, director Distribution at the CNFL, emphasized that the failed interruptor, a sort of giant breaker switch, had been inspected in February last. Andres added that the fire is something unusual, in his 30 years of work at the CNFL he had never seen something like it.

The Director assumes that it could have been an overvoltage in a interruptor with a capacity of supporting 34,500 volts, in that there may have been an overload that destroyed an adjacent circuit, that resulted in equipment failure, and the oil used in the equipment catching fire and exploding.

In the social media, some who live close to the substation, some literally next door, complained of the anomalies such as the contractors taking shortcuts and municipal officials turning a blind eye, that occurred in the 1970s when the plant was originally built.

And despite the statements by the CNFL, many of the comments revolve around the ‘sparking post’ and conclude that the lack of attention by the CNFL, despite the assurances to the contrary, was the principal cause of the emergency.


Since you are here …

… we have a small favor to ask. More people are reading Q COSTA RICA more than ever but advertising revenues across all media channels are falling fast. And unlike many news organizations, we haven't and will never put up a paywall – we want to keep the Q open always. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Updating reports on Q COSTA RICA demands a lot of time, money and hard work. But we do it because we believe our reports matter. To everyone who reads Q COSTA RICA, who likes it, help to support it by clicking our ads.

Do you part, click on an ad today.




Costa Rica's private transportation services AVANTI Costa Rica. Discreet and reliable service.

If you enjoyed this article please SHARE IT! (use share buttons).

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
Post your comments below or to our official FACEBOOK page.

SOURCELa Nacion
SHARE
Previous articleYes, microlending reduces extreme poverty
Next articleThe Bodies Keep Piling Up
Rico
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion for presenting reality as he sees it!