This Wednesday, after Hurricane Ian’s powerful winds wreaked havoc on the country’s western area, energy company employees in Cuba strive to restore the electricity to thousands of homes in the nation. Following the hurricane’s impact, there is currently a widespread blackout across the country.
On Tuesday, the Pinar del Rio province was badly affected by the Category 3 hurricane, which made landfall near La Coloma’s southwest. Weather forecasters predicted that Hurricane Ian would bring around 16 inches of rain, resulting in risky storm surges, mudslides, and flash floods. Authorities’ warnings prompted residents to leave their homes and head to evacuation shelters.
Cubans saw the devastation left behind by the hurricane, including trees torn from the ground, places immersed in water, and a country without electricity. Within a week, according to officials, electrical systems will resume functioning and supply power to nearly 11 million people.
To protect people, the National Electric System cut off its power in the interim. An underwater community is vulnerable to electrocutions, fatalities, and other associated harm or fatalities. However, as the water recedes and the weather improves, the management of the state-run power company said they would probably resume the grid’s electricity.
In the nation, blackouts are already frequent. In addition, power networks were often vulnerable to blackouts due to supply interruptions and limitations in fuel and other resources.
Cubans chose to evacuate
Authorities were warned of Hurricane Ian, and a major evacuation was ordered. More than 38,000 people were compelled to leave their homes, particularly those in the Pinar del Rio Province. In order to prepare for the hurricane, other nearby regions were encouraged to take refuge in evacuation centers. The Pinal del Rio province is where many folk’s families are staying, and many reported having trouble communicating after the disaster hit.
Adriana Rivera, a resident of Spain, mentioned that she was unable to contact her relatives. They were among the people of Pinar del Rio who Hurricane Ian impacted. Rivera claims that she last spoke to her family during Hurricane Ian’s assault when she learned that her mother, sister, cousin, and nephew needed to go up to the house’s second story due to the flooding.
“They didn’t expect the hurricane to be this strong. I hope they’re okay. The uncertainty is killing me,” Rivera said.
Mayelin Suarez, who was exposed to Hurricane Ian’s fury, found the situation to be terrifying.
“We almost lost the roof of our house. My daughter, my husband and I tied it down with a rope to keep it from flying away,” Suarez shares.
The legendary tobacco of Cuba is farmed in Pinar del Rio, an area with millions of inhabitants. Pictures of Hurricane Ian’s severe damage to the area’s tobacco plantations were sent to the Cuban state media after the storm.
The hurricane traveling to Florida
The storm is still not over. It is moving towards Florida after Cuba and has intensified into a Category 5 hurricane, alarming locals and government officials. Over 2.5 million people have been warned by weather officials to be prepared for the worst today.
Kevin Guthrie, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director, said, “I implore, I urge everyone that is in an evacuation zone that has been asked to evacuate – the time is now. You must evacuate now. There will be a time when it will not be safe to travel the roads.”
“There will come a point in time when local public safety officials will not be able to respond to your cry for help. You may be left to fend for yourself,” he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis issued the same caution to millions of Floridians, saying, “This is going to be a lot of impacts that will be felt far and wide throughout the state of Florida. As the storm moves in, you’re going to potentially have (evacuation) directives issued from folks in the interior of our state or even the east coast of the state for low-lying areas that absolutely could end up flooding.”
Photo Credit: Ramon Espinose