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Cuba trying to restore electric power system

Staff Writer |
The Cuban electric power system is currently operating at 86 percent, while a workforce is reportedly striving to restore this after Hurricane Irma cut through the country''s northern coast.

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The statistics account for 340 of 2,309 affected circuits have yet to be restored, according to statements by Lazaro Guerra, technical director of Cuba's Power Utility Company (UNE).

Irma was the strongest and largest hurricane ever to hit the Caribbean. It was a Category 5 storm in the Saffir-Simpson scale, the most powerful level, and hammered Cuba with winds of up to 260 kph.

From 2000, some 18 hurricanes had affected the island, but this is the first time that the national power grid fully collapsed, the Ministry of Energy and Basic Industry reported.

Lazaro Guerra said that it is planned to re-establish all power grids in the next few hours.

He also stated that the electric power grid is entirely operating in the province of Pinar del Rio. Meanwhile, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Holguin, Granma and Artemisa provinces have reached 99 percent.

According to the UNE technical director, Mayabeque, Havana, Las Tunas, Camaguey and Cienfuegos provinces are nowadays making progress in recovering their local grids; while in Matanzas, Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus and Ciego de Avila some well-equipped brigades are also working to restore their power grids as far as possible.

Likewise, he said that it was possible to link the 220 kV power grid from the central to the western zone, which, along with the existing 110 kV link, "it allows more power to be transferred to the West."

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