After Hurricane Ian pounded the western part of the island with strong winds and a dangerous storm surge, triggering an island-wide blackout, crews in Cuba are attempting to restore power for millions of people on Wednesday.
After Ian, a Category 3 hurricane, made landfall early on Tuesday morning just southwest of La Coloma in the Pinar del Rio region, the whole island of Cuba lost power.
It was predicted that the violent storm will bring up to 16 inches of rain, cause mudslides and flash flooding in the western region, and urge thousands of inhabitants to evacuate.
Images from the state-run media outlet Cubadebate indicate that after the storm, floodwaters covered fields and uprooted trees in San Juan y Martinez, a village in Pinar del Rio.
Officials from Cuba stated that they hoped to start restoring power to the 11 million-person nation late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
In order to prevent electrocutions, fatalities, and property damage until the weather improved, the nation’s state-run National Electric System cut off electricity in the capital city of Havana. However, rather than being preplanned, the storm produced the nationwide blackouts.
Cuba has been experiencing an economic crisis that has resulted in a lack of food, fuel, and medical supplies. All summer long, there have been frequent blackouts on the island, which have occasionally resulted in anti-government demonstrations.
Evacuations of thousands of Cubans
According to state news channel TelePinar, because to the potentially fatal conditions Hurricane Ian left behind in Cuba, authorities were forced to evacuate more than 38,000 individuals from their houses in the province of Pinar del Rio.
Adriana Rivera, a Spanish citizen, told CNN she had been unable to reach her Pinar del Rio-based family since Tuesday morning.
The intensity of the hurricane was not anticipated. said Rivera. “I hope they’re all right. My anxiety is killing me.
When Rivera last spoke to her family—which also included her mother, sister, cousin, and nephews—they advised her to take refuge on the second floor of their house because the first floor was flooded. Videos of the family’s flooded home were also taken by one of her nephews.
A Pinar del Rio resident named Mayelin Suarez told Reuters that the storm had made for the darkest night of her life.
Suarez added, “We almost lost the roof off our house. To prevent it from flying away, “my daughter, my husband, and I tied it down with a rope.”
According to images shared by state media, the Robaina tobacco farm in Pinar del Rio, which is renowned for producing Cuba’s premium tobacco, also had fences falling down and damage.