A failure in 220-kilovolt high-voltage lines in Cuba has left the center and east of the island without electricity, the presidency reported on Twitter on Monday (13).
According to the state-run Unión Eléctrica (UNE), seven of Cuba’s 15 provinces were without electricity after noon: Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantánamo.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines confirmed on social networks that the cause of the incident “was a fire in a sugarcane field in the region,” as had been hypothesized shortly before by the Ministry’s official spokesperson, Vicente de la O Levy.
The folder also indicated that “they are working on restoring the system”, which “will take between four and five hours”.
The network failure, as described by the UNE, occurred between Sancti Spíritus and the municipality of Nuevitas (Camagüey).
This outage is one of the largest since last September 27, when a moment of “zero generation” of electricity was reached after the passage of Hurricane Ian, which left the island in complete darkness.
Since then, blackouts have decreased significantly, especially since the second half of December, and have remained at lower levels in the first weeks of 2023, with affections below 10% at peak times.
The Cuban energy system is in a precarious situation, as evidenced last year, when blackouts were daily and prolonged, reaching up to 12 hours a day in some regions. The effects reached almost 40% of the country at times.
The causes of this situation are the age of the country’s eight onshore thermoelectric plants – with an average of more than 40 years of use – the investment deficit in the national energy system, and the lack of fuel for the plants.
With information from EFE/Gazeta do Povo