Havana, Black on Black

Havana at night, after the hurricane (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 September 2017 — Thousands of residents in Havana spent their fourth day without electricity or water supplies, on Wednesday, as a result of the damage left by Hurricane Irma. Brigades of electrical linemen are working to restore the energy supply, but the slow pace of the work, given its complexity in some stretches, brings despair to those who have been unable to take a shower since last Saturday, who must climb to high floors without elevator service, or who yearn to eat something other than canned food or cookies.

In the area of Vedado where hotels, hospitals and government administrative buildings are located, electrical services have been restored, but neighborhoods such as Nuevo Vedado, La Timba, La Viibora, along with extensive areas of the municipality Playa and parts of Centro Habana are still in the dark. Under these circumstances, the middle of the night is the most difficult time of day, with the complete lack of light, and the intense September heat with temperatures over 85 degrees.

To find relief from the heatwave, many residents in the neighborhoods suffering blackouts have placed their mattresses on terraces, balconies and roofs. Garbage collection is also affected and mountains of trash, fallen tree trunks and branches pile up on the corners. National television continues to broadcast an extensive program dedicated to reporting the damage left by the hurricane and the recovery process, but in much of the capital people are oblivious to this information due to lack of electricity.

An unusual silence extends where even the TVs fail to bring a ray of light.