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Hurricane Ian: Cuba left without power as intensifying storm heads to Florida

By Lauren Aratani and agencies


Electricity grid collapses in Cuba after hurricane passes through, as 2.5 million people in Florida ordered to evacuate

Cuba’s electricity grid has collapsed, leaving the entire country without power in the wake of Hurricane Ian, as residents in Florida braced for the arrival of what is expected to be a catastrophic Category 4 storm.

The western end of Cuba was hit by violent winds and flooding on Tuesday, affecting infrastructure, state-run media reported, while some of the country’s most important tobacco farms were devastated.

Lázaro Guerra, from the Electric Union of Cuba, said people were working through the night and early Wednesday to restore power.

Businesses in Florida, meanwhile, were shuttering and officials ordered 2.5 million people to evacuate before it crashes ashore Wednesday.

The powerful storm is heading directly for Florida’s south-western coast, after striking Cuba earlier on Tuesday with winds of 125mph (205km/h). The storm is expected to intensify in strength as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and west of Florida’s southern tip on Tuesday night, before heading toward the Tampa Bay region.



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