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Hurricane Ian news summary for Wednesday, September 28

Crews in Cuba are working Wednesday to restore power to millions after Hurricane Ian lashed the western region with strong winds and dangerous storm surges, causing an island-wide blackout.

All of Cuba was left without power after Ian made landfall early Tuesday morning as a Category 3 hurricane just southwest of La Coloma in Pinar del Río province.

The powerful hurricane was expected to dump up to 16 inches of rain and cause landslides and flash floods in the western region, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of residents.

After the storm advanced, floods covered fields and uprooted trees in San Juan y Martínez, a town in Pinar del Río, images from state media Cubadebate showed.

Thousands of Cubans were evacuated

The life-threatening conditions Hurricane Ian inflicted on Cuba prompted authorities to evacuate more than 38,000 residents from their homes in Pinar del Río province, according to state news channel TelePinar.

Adriana Rivera, who lives in Spain, told CNN that she had been unable to contact her family in Pinar del Río since Tuesday morning.

“They didn’t expect the hurricane to be this strong,” Rivera said. “I hope they’re okay. The uncertainty is killing me.”

The last time Rivera spoke to her family, including her mother, sister, cousin and nephews, they told her they would seek shelter on the second floor of their home because the first floor had flooded. One of his nephews also recorded videos of the flooded house.

Mayelin Suárez, a resident of Pinar del Río, told Reuters the storm made it the darkest night of her life.

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“We almost lost the roof of our house,” said Suarez. “Me, my daughter and my husband tied it with a rope so it wouldn’t fly away.”

Pinar del Río, known for growing Cuba’s rich tobacco, also suffered from falling fences and the destruction of the Robaina tobacco farm, according to photos published by state media.

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