The powerful Hurricane Ian hit Cuba with a wind speed of over 200 kmph and caused extensive damage in the region. When the electrical installation got destroyed, the authorities turned off the power to avoid any electrocution and massive damage to any properties. The country saved about 3,800 people in the western region because of the timely evacuation. Still, Hurricane Ian has left numerous dead, destroyed homes, and resulted in severe flooding.
Even before the hurricane hit the country, it was predicted that even if you were not located or came in the path of the eye of the storm, it would damage properties and lives in other regions as well.
The governor asked the citizens to stock adequate food, medicine, and fuel and also took the help of about 7,000 national guards.
Most affected regions
The category four powerful hurricane mainly hit Pinar del Rio and the region of Artemisa. About 11 municipalities of the area were severely affected by the storm in Pinar del Rio region, while three were involved in the Artemisa region. In the 14 municipalities that were worst affected by the hurricane, there were about 713,732 people. Of these people, 352,542 were women, about 144,444 were children and adolescents, and about 155000 were people over 60. In addition, in these municipalities, there were about 3 400 pregnant women, about 800 HIV patients, and 30,500 people with disabilities.
Since these areas were the worst hit by the hurricane, the plan of action was mainly focused on these regions.
The entire Island has to face a power blackout.
The Island of Cuba was constantly threatened with frequent blackouts that frustrated the civilians. But Hurricane Ian was the last straw of Cuba’s outdated and ailing electricity grid system. Even though power blackouts were widespread in the island country, the storm resulted in the power system’s collapse and put more than 11 million people in the country in darkness.
What were the major damages?
The powerful storm caused massive damage. Along with creating enormous havoc in the country’s urban spaces, they also destroyed the livelihood of many people in the rural municipalities.
Based on primary assessment, it is found that the damages include:
- Housing damages.
- Destruction of health and educational infrastructure.
- Difficulty in accessing clean drinking water and electricity.
Additionally, enormous damage has been reported to the food storage and production facilities. Thousands of hectares of crops, livestock production, fishing, and agriculture which were the primary source of the livelihood of people in the affected municipalities, were destroyed by the killer storm.
What made the situation worse was that Hurricane Ian hit Cuba when the country was going through a major economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
National and local authorities are trying their best to handle the situation. But, due to the large scale of the disaster and the severe damages caused by the hurricane, the country will require support from other sources.