HAVANA — Hurricane Ian knocked out power across Cuba and devastated some of the country’s largest tobacco plantations on Tuesday when it hit the western tip of the island as a major hurricane.
The Cuban Electric Union said in a statement that work was underway to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Electricity was first cut in the western provinces of Cuba, but later the entire network collapsed.
Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday on the west coast of the island. It devastated the province of Pinar del Río, where much of the tobacco used to make Cuba’s signature cigars is grown.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and others fled the area before Ian arrived, causing flooding, damaging homes and downing trees. Authorities are still assessing the damage, although no casualties have been reported so far.
Ian’s winds damaged one of Cuba’s largest tobacco farms in La Robaina.
Here’s everything you need to know about Hurricane Ian:
“It was apocalyptic, a real disaster”, posted on social networks Hirochi Robaina, owner of the farm that bears his name and that his grandfather made known internationally. He posts photos showing ruined farm buildings, overturned carts and lumber strewn all over the place.
State media reported that Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the area hardest hit by the hurricane.