Cuba begins to slowly restore power after Hurricane Ian topples grid

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Cuba has slowly started to restore power to the eastern end of the island after the hurricane ian caused the country’s electrical grid to collapse, turning off the lights for more than 11 million people. The information was confirmed by the state electricity supplier this Wednesday (28).

The already fragile network of Cuba , largely reliant on Soviet-era oil-fired power plants, had been showing oscillations for months before the storm. But officials said Hurricane Ian proved intense, knocking out power even in the far east of Cuba, which was unaffected by the storm.

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Early Wednesday morning, officials said some power had been restored to areas with less damage from the storms.

“There has been a major advance in the restoration [do Sistema Elétrico Nacional] in the eastern region, since the transmission and distribution network are integrated without being affected by the passage of Ian”, said the concessionaire in a statement to local media.

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Further west of Cuba, closer to the capital Havana, the process would be slower and “complicated”, said the generator.

Havana caught Ian’s tail as he left the island and entered the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida in the United States, leaving the city of more than 2 million people strewn with a tangle of fallen trees, garbage and electrical and telephone wires. .

Big waves and gusts of wind continued to hit the city on Wednesday as workers began clearing roads.

“A significant part of the transmission grid has been damaged,” the generator said in a statement, particularly in the far west of the country, hardest hit by Ian.

Cuba’s network is divided into three main regions, West, Central and East, which are served by large centralized oil plants. There are also small diesel generator sets that are used as backup systems when larger generators fail.

Those would be critical to restoring power further west, in areas hardest hit by the storm, the generator said, until the entire grid was available again.

“Once generation is achieved in the three regions, all of them will be able to be linked to the National Electric System, which will allow the greatest amount of internal load to be restored and all service that was not affected by Hurricane Ian to be restored,” said the official. generator.

The state agency did not give an estimate of when power will be restored to Havana or the West.

Ian, which left a trail of destruction and at least two dead in western Cuba, has now become an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday.

The NHC placed the hurricane’s location about 125 km west-southwest of Naples, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 220 km per hour. The massive storm is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday night south of Tampa Bay, somewhere between Sarasota and Naples.

(Edited by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: CNN Brasil

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