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Hurricane Yan devastation: the entire country of Cuba without electricity | SBS News

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Cuba’s power grid has collapsed, leaving the entire country in the dark after Hurricane Yan swept across the island’s western edge, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the powerful Category 3 hurricane headed north toward the Dry Tortugas, off the Florida Keys, late Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph.
Cuba’s electricity grid, which is decades old and in desperate need of an upgrade, has been down for months with blackouts a daily occurrence across much of the island.

But officials said the storm proved too much for the system, triggering an outage that knocked out power for 11.3 million people on the island.

A damaged welcome sign in San Juan y Martinez, Pinar del Río province, Cuba, after the passage of Hurricane Yan on September 27, 2022. Source: Getty / Adalberto Roque

“The system was already operating in difficult conditions after Hurricane Jan,” said Lazaro Guerra, technical director of the Cuban Electric Power Union.

“Now there is no power supply in any part of the country.”
He said the union would work through the night and into Wednesday to restore power as soon as possible.
The hurricane hit Cuba during a terrible economic crisis. Power outages and continued shortages of food, medicine and fuel are likely to complicate efforts to recover from Yan.

According to local media reports, Iain reached the Cuban province of Pinar del Río early on Tuesday.

A girl lies on a bed in a flooded room.

A girl lies on her bed in her flooded home in Batabana, Cuba, on September 27, 2022, during the passage of Hurricane Yan. Source: Getty / Yamil Lage

As a result of the storm in the west of Cuba, at least two people were killed, according to state media.

Strong gusts of wind blew out windows and ripped metal roofs from homes and buildings across the region, where many homes are decades old and infrastructure is outdated.
Roads to areas directly affected by the hurricane remained impassable, blocked by fallen trees and power lines.
A power line broke on the street

A power pole lies on a street in Consolación del Sur, Cuba, on September 27, 2022, during the passage of Hurricane Yan. Source: Getty / Adalberto Roque / AFP

Havana appeared to have escaped the brunt of the storm, although rain and strong winds uprooted trees, flooded low-lying areas and left many city roads impassable.

By 20:00 local time, it appeared that practically the entire city was without power, and only a few large tourist hotels were still lit by generators.
Further north in Florida, residents and officials huddled in anticipation of what the NHC called a “major and destructive hurricane.”
A man inspects the damage in his home.  There is no roof

Self-employed Alberto Naranjo shows his home destroyed by Hurricane Yan in San Juan y Martinez, Pinar del Río province, Cuba, on September 27, 2022. Source: Getty / Adalberto Roque / AFP

Ian is expected to bring winds of up to 209 km/h and up to 60 inches of rain to the Tampa area on Florida’s Gulf Coast starting early Wednesday evening and ending Thursday evening, the National Weather Service said.

A hurricane warning was extended to parts of southwest Florida as the storm’s path deviated slightly from previous forecasts.

A storm surge along Florida’s Gulf Coast could cause damage ranging from devastating to catastrophic, and some areas could be uninhabitable for weeks or months, the service warned, urging residents to move to safe shelter before the storm arrives.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/hurricane-ian-plunges-cuba-into-darkness/es32co24c

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