Earthquake leaves thousands of Jamaicans without electricity

THOUSANDS of Jamaicans were left without electricity for an extended period on Monday, following the magnitude 5.6 earthquake which rocked the island.

Traffic was reduced to a crawl in the Corporate Area as the stoplights at several major intersections went black.

In a media release, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) confirmed that the earthquake had affected power supply to 132,000 of its customers in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Manchester, and St James.

The light and power company said electricity to customers outside the Corporate Area were restored within a few minutes, and to people in Kingston and St Andrew in phases during the day.

The JPS said several of its power generating units and the power delivery system in the Corporate Area were impacted by the earthquake. “The affected power plants, which belong to both JPS and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were: West Kingston Power Plant, and Jamaica Private Power Company, Rockfort, and Hunts Bay,” the company said.

JPS said that some of its workers were temporarily displaced due to damage to its administrative and operations buildings, but the company did not provide details.

“This will impact response time to customer calls. Customers are, therefore, urged to make reports via the JPS mobile app, and to contact the customer care centre only in the case of emergencies until further notice,” added the company.

At the same time, the company said it was continuing its assessment of the overall damage to its infrastructure.