Before Hurricane Ian, blackouts were already a daily problem for millions of Cubans, who live resigned to how the power goes out more and for more hours
HAVANA TIMES – On Tuesday afternoon, Cuban authorities reported a nationwide blackout because of a major problem with the country’s generation/distribution network. They admitted that the effects of Hurricane Ian were not the only reason.
“The National Electric System faces an exceptional situation, zero electricity generation (without electricity service in the entire country), this complicated condition is associated with the complex weather conditions that have affected the infrastructure of the National Electric System,” the state electric company announced.
“The fault has to do with the links between western, central and eastern Cuba. it is a complex process that demands precision work and the electrical system will be gradually restored between tonight and early tomorrow morning,” said the state electricity company.
Before the passage of Hurricane Ian, blackouts were already a daily problem for millions of Cubans, who live resigned to how the electricity goes out more and more often and for more hours.
The hurricane made landfall in the early hours of Tuesday as a category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale and hours later went out to sea again heading towards the west coast of the Florida peninsula. As we report it is now an even stronger category 4 hurricane.
Ian hit Cuba with sustained winds of up to 115 mph (185 km/h) and gusts that exceeded 125 mph (200 km/h), according to the records of the Cuban Meteorology Institute Insmet).
The province of Pinar del Río, in the extreme west of the country, was the most affected with “considerable damage,” the Cuban presidency stated via Twitter.
There was damage to homes and commercial premises, trees felled and roads were cut, although specific damage assessments from the civil defense and local authorities are forthcoming.
The photos that circulate in the official media and the social networks testify to the strength of Ian, with destroyed roofs, trees and structures that gave way to the force of the wind and floods in several locations.
Some 50,000 people were evacuated in Pinar del Río province alone.
The Cuban authorities announced that they have prepared brigades to go from other provinces to the western region and try to restore electricity and communication services.
In Havana, one of the six provinces that were under cyclone alert, moderate rains with some intense gusts were recorded and much of the city was without electricity. The extent of the damage to already deteriorated buildings and homes will also be forthcoming.