Storm damage in Havana worse than previously reported
The Ministry of Truth in Havana reports that 49 buildings have been seriously damaged by a recent rainstorm -- "partially collapsed"-- and also confirms that two buildings have totally collapsed, killing two people. The damaged buildings have been evacuated. No word on what will happen to the residents. Given the extreme shortage in housing -- due to the fact that hardly any new buildings have gone up in the past half century as the population doubled -- chances are these Cubans are now homeless.
Havana, Dec 1 (EFE).- The torrential rainstorm that on the weekend lashed the northern coast of western and central Cuba caused at least 49 buildings to partially or fully collapse in the capital and forced the evacuation of more than 400 families, local media reported on Sunday.
The bad weather on Friday and Saturday severely affected Havana and set a new 24-hour rainfall record for the month of November - the previous record was set in 1909 - with the Casablanca meteorological station recording 228.3 millimeters (8.99 inches) of rain between Friday and Saturday morning.
By Saturday afternoon, 49 building collapses - eight of them complete collapses - had been reported in the capital, according to the official daily Juventud Rebelde.
On Saturday, it was learned that two people had died in one of those structural collapses.
The provincial Government Defense Council vice president, Juan Montalvo, warned that when the rains end buildings weakened by the water tend to collapse and he called for more preventive measures in homes and the areas most prone to such damage.
According to the latest bulletins issued by Insmet, the island's weather forecasting center, the rains began to lessen on Saturday afternoon.
Nevertheless, the government's Special Warning No. 6 did not rule out that intense squalls and downpours could continue across the region periodically on Sunday.
The storm was caused by an almost stationary cold front positioned over northern Cuba and the northeast wind that carried clouds and rain over the island from the Atlantic.
The cold front remained stuck over Havana for about 36 hours, although it drifted slightly over the country's western and central zone, authorities said.