- BBC News World
Hurricane Ian has caused extensive damage, flooding and massive power outages on its path through western Cuba.
This Tuesday afternoon, Cuban officials made the announcement There is a blackoutdependence The entire island lost power.
“The National Electricity System has an exceptional condition, 0 power generation (Without electricity service in the country), this critical situation is related to the critical weather conditions that have affected the infrastructure of the national electricity system,” the Cuban Electricity Association said in a statement.
“The fault has been given in the western, central and eastern links, it is a complex process, working precisely to restore it, and the power system will be gradually restored from tonight to tomorrow morning,” the state electricity company said.
Before Hurricane Ian passed through, the blackout was already in place A daily problem for millions of CubansA person who lives resignedly to how the current goes out more often and for more hours.
That was also known this Tuesday want At least one person died as a result of the cyclone. A 43-year-old woman’s house collapsed.
The Cyclone It made landfall on the island early Tuesday morning With a Category 3, several hours later it moves back out to sea west of the Florida peninsula, strengthening to a Category 4.
Ian had sustained winds of 185 km/h in Cuba. They reached 200 kgm/h At some point, according to the Institute of Meteorology (INSMET) records.
The Cuban president’s office said on Twitter that Pinar del Rio province, in the country’s west, was the worst hit, with “significant damage.”
were produced there Damage to homes and businessesTrees fell and roads were cut, according to officials, although specific damage estimates have not yet been released.
Although the area has been hit by at least three hurricanes in recent years, many residents say this is the worst weather event they have ever seen “in their lives”.
“I have never seen anything like it in my 62 years. We have lost everything“, Maritza Cueto, who lives near the road leading to the city of La Coloma, told the EFE news agency.
For his part, Hector Polanco, 32, explained to the news agency that the roof of his house, where he lives with his wife and four-month-old son, suddenly collapsed at dawn.
“We had to shout ‘help’ for the neighbors to come and get us out.“, he describes.
Most stories acknowledge the unprecedented scale of the damage, according to local reports and various media outlets at the scene.
“I don’t sleep at all, my daughters (four and 14 years old) are with my mother and I keep an eye on it. But it’s more than I expected,” explains Yasmani Izquierdo, a 32-year-old baker interviewed. EFE confirms that while he was in the bathroom, the roof of his house located in Pinar del Río also “blew away”.
Added to these testimonies are images circulating in official media and social networks. That Witness the vigor of IanDamaged roofs, trees and other structures that are prone to the force of wind and flooding.
About 50,000 people were evacuated, most of them in Pinar del Rio province.
Cuban officials announced that they had prepared response forces from other provinces to the western region to try to restore electricity and communications services.
In Havana, one of the six provinces under a typhoon warning, there were Moderate rain Tuesday morning saw some strong winds and much of the city was without power.
Predictions indicate that Ian Will continue to gain strength It is heading across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida, where mandatory evacuations have already begun.
It is forecast to hit the west coast of Florida on Wednesday.
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