The blackout in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico is now the second-worst in history

Desperate times.
Desperate times.
Image: Reuters/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Hurricane Maria has caused mayhem in Puerto Rico. It’s the worst natural disaster in the island’s history, with more than $90 billion in damages. Many thousands still have no access to electricity or clean water, more than 200 days after the hurricane hit.

In a new analysis, research firm Rhodium Group estimates that Puerto Rico’s blackout is now the world’s second-worst on record, and the worst in US history. To come to this conclusion, the firm calculated the number of hours customers lost access to electricity stemming from a single event. Although it’s not a definitive ranking, the length of Puerto Rico’s blackout, combined with the island’s high population density, make it a leading candidate for an award nobody wants to win.