Hurricane Ian leaves Cuba in nationwide blackout

Havana, Cuba

Cuba is in a nationwide blackout after Hurricane Ian hit the Caribbean island nation on Tuesday.

Officials said they hoped to begin restoring power late Tuesday local time or early Wednesday.

The first strong winds before Hurricane Ian hit the southern coast of Cuba late Monday, prompting authorities to evacuate residents, secure boats and shut down homes.

State-owned power company Unión Eléctrica de Cuba earlier said it would cut power in the capital Havana to prevent electrocutions, deaths and property damage until the weather improves. However, the nationwide power outages were caused by the storm, rather than expected.

Cuba is going through an economic crisis that has led to shortages of food, fuel and medicine. Power outages across the island have been regular all summer, leading to rare protests against the government.

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