EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 5 October 2022 — On Tuesday the government announced that Hurricane Ian, which recently passed through western Cuba, completely destroyed thirty-eight homes in Havana and caused partial damage to roofs or other sections of 1,131 others.
As part of the initial estimate of the damage Havana has suffered as a result of Ian, the regional governor, Reynaldo Garcia Zapata, pointed out that the city’s entire electrical system was affected and that 17,760 people had been evacuated from danger zones to state-run shelters or private homes.
Garcia Zapata indicated that, over the last six days, all electrical lines and circuits impacted by the storm were restored but that eight poles and twenty transformers are still out.
Homes and electricity were the most severely impacted by Ian, which a week ago tore through the country on a northward path starting in Pinar del Rio province in the southeast, where it caused major damage, and extending to neighboring Artemesia, Havana and Mayabeque provinces.
Its impact on the electrical power system caused a nationwide blackout, aggravating a situation in which the entire country had already been experiencing daily power outages caused by failures at antiquated power plants, lack of fuel and lack of routine maintenance.
Blackouts over several consecutive days have recently led to protests in several Havana neighborhoods as wall as in Camaguey, Holguin and Guantanmo.
Demonstrators have protested by banging pots, blocking major thoroughfares and staging sit-ins. In some instances they also called for political change. The independent media Proyecto Inventario has counted fifty-five protests, most of them in Havana.
Activists have also reported twenty-six detentions, including at least one minor, and have accused plainclothes police and security forces of using violence against demonstrators.
Hurricane Ian, the first storm to hit Cuba in the current hurricane season, has left five dead and caused extensive damage, which so far has only been partially accounted for.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.