Cuba has been left in tatters after Hurricane Ian swept through the area overnight – and is now turning its sights on Florida.
Telephone poles were ripped from the ground and strewn across the street by the 125-hour-per-hour winds of the Category 3 storm.
Ian was upgraded from a Category 1 to a Category 3 overnight by the National Hurricane Center and struck the north coast of Cuba in Pinar Del Rio province on Tuesday morning.
The slow-moving storm made landfall just south of Pinar del Rio Tuesday at 4:30 a.m., two hours after becoming the second major hurricane of 2022.
Terrifying footage shows trees being battered by the wind as the rain poured down, causing flooding.
A highly destructive 14-foot storm surge crashed into the coast of CBA with the most severe damage from flash flooding along the hurricane’s path.
Ian’s eyewall missed the capital Havana, passing about 70 miles west of the city, when Pinar del Rio was hit by the left eyewall.
A highly destructive 14-foot storm surge crashed into the coast of CBA with the most severe flash flood damage along the hurricane’s path
A vintage car tried to drive through the rubble in the middle of the road after trees were cut and branches covered the path
Cars are parked under a bridge in Consolacion del Sur, Cuba, in an effort to protect them from the storm
Buildings were destroyed, property hurricane barriers and telephone pole wires were seen in the middle of mud and silt in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Parents were seen carrying their children to safety in the rain, as well as other local residents returning to their homes to check the damage.
Roofs at several properties were blown away as other local residents pulled their boats out of a canal in an attempt to rescue them.
Thousands of residents were evacuated from the areas to save lives, and it’s unclear exactly how much damage the hurricane caused.
Cuba’s capital, Havana, was hit hard by the storm. Workers unblock sewers and fishermen taking their boats out of the water to protect themselves from the flooding.
A woman points to damage to her roof, above the second floor, caused by Hurricane Ian in Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Devastation has hit Cuba hard after authorities carried out evacuations on Monday in an effort to protect the island from the storm
Ian cut power to nearly 1 million people in Cuba, with one resident describing the hurricane as “the darkest night of her life”
A utility pole lies on the street in Consolación del Sur, Cuba, in the wake of Hurricane Ian that hit the island
A horse cart was left under a bridge in Consolacion del Sur, Cuba, next to a homeless man sheltering from the extreme weather
Ian cut power to nearly 1 million people in Cuba, with one resident describing the hurricane as “the darkest night of her life.”
Mayelin Suarez, a Pinar del Rio resident who sells ice cream in the provincial capital, told Reuters: “We almost lost the roof of our house.
“My daughter, my husband and I tied it with a rope to keep it from flying away.”
Makeshift metal roofs on homes and buildings across the region, where homes and infrastructure are outdated and fragile, were scattered across streets and yards after the storm.
Palm trees had fallen along regional highways, making travel nearly impossible at the height of the storm.
Ian made landfall in Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people and provided power to the entire province 850,000 people as a precaution.
People are seen on a street in Consolación del Sur, Cuba, as the storm passes – Hurricane Ian made landfall in western Cuba early Tuesday
Strong winds batter palm trees early Tuesday morning at the Antonio Maceo Monument in Havana, Cuba
Telephone poles and other wires were knocked down by high winds from Hurricane Ian, which is currently heading for Florida
A local in Malecon, Havana, in Cuba, took a photo of the huge waves that shook the coastline
Roofs at several properties were blown away as other local residents pulled their boats out of a canal in an attempt to save them
State media said farmers had secured 33,000 tons of tobacco from previous harvests before the storm, although images on social media showed widespread destruction in many tobacco fields.
Felix Hernandez, a 51-year-old night watchman at a liquor factory in the Cuban capital, said it was business as usual in Havana after the storm.
Early in the morning, street vendors were peddling avocado and the lines for chicken – a commonplace phenomenon in Cuba – were already tense for blocks.
He said, “We’re incredibly lucky that Ian didn’t cross Havana, because then half the city would have collapsed.”