Updated Sep 28, 2022 - World

Hurricane Ian leaves Cuba without any power

flash flooding cuba

People walk through a flooded street in Batabano, Cuba, on Sept. 27 during the passage of Hurricane Ian. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

All of Cuba was without power late Tuesday after Hurricane Ian swept through in the morning and severely flooded the Caribbean island.

The latest: Work was under way to restore power to the nation of 11 million after the electrical grid collapsed due to the major hurricane, per a statement from Cuba's Electric Union.

  • Ian initially cut power to roughly 1 million Cuban residents as thousands of people fled the storm, AP notes.

The big picture: Ian made landfall as a Category 3 storm at 4:30am ET Tuesday in Pinar del Río province, western Cuba — where officials set up shelters, evacuated thousands of people and rushed in emergency personnel to help protect crops in the nation’s main tobacco-growing region.

State of play: The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said "significant wind and storm surge impacts" occurred Tuesday morning in the west coast of the island.

  • Ian struck with sustained winds of 125 mph and left the island after 1 pm ET on Tuesday, when it entered the Gulf of Mexico, the NHC tweeted.
  • Antonio Rodríguez, president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH), told local reporters that the entity was "keeping a close watch" on the dams in western Cuba, which are at 94% capacity.

What they're saying: "All the country's aid will be centered on this province, heavily damaged by #HurricaneIan," Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted from Pinar del Río, where officials evacuated around 40,000 people.

What we're watching: Ian was expected to bring western Cuba 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated totals up to 16 inches.

  • Rain was likely to lead to flash flooding and mudslides, per the NHC.

Go deeper: Hurricane Ian approaches Category 4 intensity as it heads toward Florida

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