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Before-and-after satellite photos highlight dire situation in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Before-and-after photos show how dire the situation is in hurricane-battered Puerto Rico.

The images from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite offer aerial views of the island. One was taken on July 24, the other on Monday.

The difference is stark.

Normally the island’s coastal towns and cities glimmer in a ring of light. Not anymore.

Puerto Rico’s energy grid took such a severe blow from deadly Hurricane Maria that the entire system is down.

That means more than 3 million American citizens on the U.S. commonwealth are without electricity.

Restoring power to the island could take months, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said.

“Damage is catastrophic,” said Ricardo Ramos, CEO of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. “Transmission lines on the ground and conductors on the ground, and distribution poles broken in half. [It’s] very, very disconcerting.”