Havana, Cuba

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

Officials said they hope to begin restoring electricity late Tuesday local time or early Wednesday.

The first strong winds ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival pounded Cuba’s south coast late on Monday, prompting officials to evacuate residents, secure boats and batten down homes.

The state electric company Unión Eléctrica de Cuba had earlier said they would turn off power in the capital Havana to avoid electrocutions, deaths and property damage until the weather improved. However, the nationwide blackouts were caused by the storm, rather than planned.

Cuba has been in an economic crisis that has led to shortages of food, fuel and medicine. Blackouts across the island have been regular all summer, which has led to rare protests against the government.

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