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Cuba’s electrical grid collapses after Hurricane “Ian”

hurricane ian 0750z september 27 2022 cuba landfall

Category 3 Hurricane “Ian” made landfall just southwest of the town of La Coloma in the Pinar del Rio Province of Cuba at 08:30 UTC on September 27, 2022, with maximum sustained winds of 205 km/h (125 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 952 hPa.

The system brought heavy rains, and significant wind and storm surge to the region1, knocking down electricity to 1 million people. Soon after that, the entire electrical grid collapsed.

Major damage to buildings and infrastructure, agriculture, and telecommunication was reported in Pinar del Rio.

The Provincial Defence Council of Pinar del Rio confirmed two deaths due to collapsing buildings.

hurricane ian 0750z september 27 2022 cuba landfall bg
Hurricane “Ian” at 07:50 UTC on September 7, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

Damages have also been reported in the province of Artemisa and in the capital of the country.

UN Country Team in Cuba estimated that more than 3 million people have been affected. Of these, 500 000 are children and adolescents, and 700 000 are elderly people.2

For the city of Pinar del Rio, the capital of Pinar del Rio Province, this was the strongest storm in 30 years. The city was in the eye of the hurricane for about 90 minutes.

At 06:00 UTC on September 28, Ian was still a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph).

Its center was located about 155 km (95 miles) SW of Naples, Florida; moving NNE at 17 km/h (10 mph).

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to approach the west coast of Florida this morning (LT) and make landfall later today.

Strengthening is forecast until the hurricane makes landfall, and Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous major hurricane.

The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida Wednesday night, September 28 and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.

References:

1 Ian strengthens into a major hurricane just before making landfall over western Cuba – The Watchers – September 27, 2022

2 Hurricane Ian response: Situation Report No. 02 from the Office of the Resident Coordinator – UNCT Cuba – September 28, 2022

Featured image: Hurricane “Ian” at 07:50 UTC on September 7, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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