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Cuba slowly begins to restore power after Ian

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2 個月前

STORY: Cuba had restored power to at least some consumers Wednesday, after Hurricane Ian caused the country's grid to completely collapse, turning off the lights for 11 million people.

Ian knocked out power even in far eastern Cuba, which was largely unaffected by the storm.

Havana caught the tail end of the hurricane as it barreled off the island and into the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida, leaving the city in a tangled mess and residents nervous about what comes next.

Claribel Cintra lives in Havana.

"In general, it (power) never goes out; it goes out in phases, that is to say, in some blocks, but the rest of the blocks have electricity. But this time, it was a total blackout."

LOCAL, OLGA GOMEZ: "...The power came back for a while and then went out again. Our concern is that now with the floods, we haven't been able to go out to look for food. We have to see where we can go to look for bread because that is what we can use to provide food for the children, even though we have some food in the house for these situations."

Officials gave no estimate of when power would be fully restored to the capital city.

Before the storm, Cuba's already frail grid, largely dependent on antiquated, Soviet-era oil-fired generation plants and scarce fuel, had been faltering for months.

Hours-long daily blackouts have become routine across much of the island.

Provinces west of Havana took a more direct hit from Ian and were still entirely without power, or communications, on Wednesday.

Roads into the region were littered with downed trees, gas stations closed, and many low-lying coastal areas remained flooded and impassable.

Puerto Rico suffered a similar, island-wide blackout after Hurricane Fiona hit there on Sept. 18th, prompting outrage among residents. More than 300,000 customers still remained without power in Puerto Rico as of Wednesday.

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Reuters