Hurricane leaves Cuba with complete blackout

Havana: Cuba has been left completely without power after the category 3 hurricane Ian lashed the island nation, government officials have confirmed.

On Cuban state television on Tuesday, the head of the electrical energy authority announced that an island-wide blackout had occurred as a result of the national electrical system’s breakdown, leaving 11 million people in the dark, reports the BBC.

The breakdown took place after one of the main power plants could not be brought back online.

The hurricane, which made landfall on Monday night, has also led to the death of one person, while buildings were damaged all across the country.

Forecasters had warned that some regions of Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain.

Meanwhile, Ian, packing wind speeds of up to 195 km/h, is now bearing down on Florida, according to the US National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest update on Tuesday night.

It is projected to make landfall on Florida’s west coast late on Wednesday, the BBC quoted the NHC as saying.

The Center added that Ian could be a category four hurricane by the time it strikes Florida’s western coast, with some 2.5 million people in the state currently under evacuation orders.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday has declared a state of emergency for the state and has activated 5,000 National Guard troops.

He warned in a news conference that the storm is “the real deal”.

The White House has also made its own emergency declaration, which will help federal and state officials co-ordinate disaster relief and assistance.

President Joe Biden spoke with DeSanti on Tuesday evening, and the two committed to “continued close co-ordination”, the White House said.


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