Skip to main content

Millions plunged in darkness as power goes out in Havana, other parts of Cuba

From Patrick Oppmann, CNN
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Power begins to return to Havana and other areas early Monday
  • State media report an outage on a transmission line
  • The outage affects a region from the western tip of the island to near the center
  • Havana residents gather outside, seeking cooler air on a humid night

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- Cubans are used to the mundane inconvenience of brief, localized power outages that regularly hit the country's aging electricity grid, but the large blackout that plunged the western part of the Caribbean island into darkness Sunday night was unusual.

More than 2 million residents of the capital, Havana, lost electricity, except for those at hospitals and other places with generators, a government spokesman, who was not identified per government policy, said late Sunday.

Residents elsewhere in the socialist-ruled nation, including in Ciego de Avila in central Cuba, also said they didn't have any power, except for a few pockets of light.

By early Monday, power began to return to homes in Havana and elsewhere after several hours of outage.

The website of the state-run newspaper Trabajadores reported an outage on a 220,000-volt transmission line between Ciego de Avila and Santa Clara that affected service from Pinar del Rio -- the area on the western tip of the long, slender island -- as far east as Camaguey.

The brief report late Sunday said that the incident was under investigation and that workers were trying to restore power.

The streets of Havana lost electricity around 8 p.m. Residents of the capital took the outage in stride, congregating on the stoops of buildings in search of cooler air on a warm, humid night.

The dark streets were quiet early Monday, save for the hum of loud generators every few blocks.

Massive outages on this scale are rare in Cuba, unless a big storm passes over the island.

Weather reports for Havana indicated partly cloudy conditions on Sunday night with temperatures in the high 70s. Temperatures were forecast to hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT