Cuba still without power after departure of Hurricane Ian

Huge waves spill over the famous Malecon esplanade in Havana as hurricane Ian batters the island nation

Cuba was still without electricity on Wednesday more than 12 hours after a massive power cut caused by Hurricane Ian, which killed two people and left widespread damage.

Western Cuba was battered by the fierce tropical storm on Tuesday that left the country’s power network damaged.

“Not one drop of water has fallen since 5:20 pm (on Tuesday) and there is no electricity,” Chelita Delkago, a 52-year-old homemaker from western Cuba, told AFP by telephone.

State electricity company Union Electrica, the only authorized power supplier in the communist nation, said Tuesday night that the country of 11.2 million was “without electrical service.”

The company had said power would be gradually restored overnight.

In some cities power did resume briefly.

Cubans have had to get used to increasingly frequent power cuts since May, but not on a nationwide scale.

Much of the country’s power infrastructure is obsolete and poorly maintained.

“The electricity went out yesterday at 6:00 pm and we don’t know when it will be back on,” farmer Alejandro Perez, 35, told AFP by telephone from the eastern town of Santiago de Cuba.

By contrast, on Isla de la Juventud island, which was the first part of the country struck by Ian, “we have had electricity since 5:00 pm yesterday,” Roxana Gonzalez, 75, told AFP.

Given the island lies 340-kilometers south of Havana, it has its own separate electricity grid.

In Havana, a city of 2.1 million, the chimneys of a Turkish generator boat anchored in the harbor that provides electricity for the capital were extinguished.

Likewise, the old and small Tallapiedra thermoelectric plant, which only operates in emergencies, was out of action.

Ian caused five buildings in the capital to collapse while another 68 were partially damaged, authorities said.

Close Bitnami banner