Hurricane ” Ian ” has strengthened to reach “extremely dangerous” category four, on a scale of five, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Wednesday, as it heads for the west coast of the state of Florida .
“The Air Force’s ‘hurricane hunter’ planes consider that “Ian” has strengthened to reach an extremely dangerous category four,” the NHC said in a statement released at 09:00 GMT, adding that the storm could cause “Storm Surge, Devastating Winds and Flooding”.
“Ian” leaves the island of Cuba in the dark
“What are we going to do? Subsist,” says Maykel in a dry tone, in the center of Havana, plunged into darkness after the passage of Hurricane “Ian,” which hit the island as a Category 3 hurricane.
Maykel, 35, was helping his friend fix an almendrón, those old American cars from the 1950s that still circulate in Cuba, when the power went out.
In the trunk of the car they hung a lamp connected to the engine. They were on Paseo del Prado avenue, one of the most important in the city and which leads to the Capitol, the seat of the National Assembly of People’s Power (parliament), completely dark.
“There is no electricity service in any area of the country at the moment,” said Lázaro Guerra, technical director of the state-owned Electric Union, in statements to the primetime Cuban television newscast.
Cuba was left in the dark on Tuesday night due to a widespread blackout, after the passage of Hurricane “Ian” through the island, which damaged the electrical service network from one end of the country to the other.
For its part, the Ministry of Energy and Mines pointed out that it is an “exceptional condition”, whose solution “requires a lot of precision”, and that the electrical service will be restored gradually.
The island has been facing power generation difficulties since last May due to the obsolescence of the eight thermoelectric plants, breakdowns and scheduled maintenance, and increased demand due to the summer heat.
The winds of hurricane “Ian”, which hit the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa (west) and Havana, with 2.1 million inhabitants, left fallen trees that in some cases obstructed the streets, while the tidal waves began to flood roads surrounding the famous Havana Malecón.
Harold Baez, a 27-year-old security guard at the famous Coppelia ice cream shop, located in the heart of the city in the crowded Vedado neighborhood, says he is worried.
“A blackout of those (throughout the country) always generates uncertainty, but normal, you have to overcome everything,” he said as he went to the cafeteria of the Habana Libre hotel, which, like other lodgings for international tourism, was kept lit. with special plants.