Terrifying footage shows Hurricane Ian thrash Cuba with 125mph winds

By Rumi Samuel Published on September 28, 2022
Terrifying footage shows Hurricane Ian thrash Cuba with 125mph winds

Telephone poles were ripped from the ground and strewn across the street by the 125pmh winds of the Category 3 storm.

Ian was upgraded from a Category 1 to a Category 3 overnight by the National Hurricane Center and hit Cuba’s northern coast in Pinar Del Rio Province on Tuesday morning.

The slow-moving storm landed south of Pinar del Rio at 4:30 am on Tuesday, two hours after becoming the second major hurricane of 2022.

Terrifying footage shows trees battered by the winds as rain lashed down and caused flooding.  

A highly destructive storm surge of 14 feet crashed into the coast of Cuba, with flash-flood damage most severe along the path of the hurricane.

The eyewall of Ian missed the capital of Havana, passing around 70 miles west of the left eyewall hit Pinar del Rio.

Buildings were destroyed, hurricane barriers few from properties and wires from telephone poles were seen lying in the street in the middle of mud and silt in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Parents were seen carrying their children to safety in the rain, and other locals returned to their homes to check on the damage.

Several properties had the rooves blown off while other locals moved their boats from a canal to save them.

Thousands of residents were evacuated from the areas to save lives, and it is unclear precisely what the hurricane has done damage.

Cuba's capital, Havana, was hit hard by the storm, with workers unclogging storm drains and fishermen taking their boats out of the water to protect themselves from the flooding.

Ian cut power to nearly 1 million people in Cuba, with one resident describing the hurricane as ‘the darkest night of her life.

Myelin 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 down with a rope to keep it from flying away.'

Improvised metal roofs on homes and buildings throughout the region, where housing and infrastructure are antiquated and vulnerable, were scattered about streets and yards following the storm.

Palm trees were down along regional highways making travel near impossible at the height of the storm.

Ian made landfall in the Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people as well as cut power to the entire area of 850,000 people as a precautionary measure.

State-run media said farmers had secured 33,000 tonnes of tobacco from prior harvests ahead of the storm, though 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 following the storm.

Early in the morning, street vendors peddled avocado and chicken lines - an everyday phenomenon in Cuba - already stretched for blocks.

He said: 'We are incredibly fortunate Ian did not cross Havana because more than half of the city would have collapsed.' 

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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