Hurricane Irma strikes Cuban tourism badly

Published on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hurricane IrmaHurricane Irma has caused damages bigger than any in Cubans’ living memory, with hundreds of miles of coastal areas flooded, chest-high seawater in Havana’s streets and millions of people left without electricity.

 
The storm has claimed at least ten lives, mostly after buildings collapsed. A falling power line electrocuted one man.

 
As recovery efforts begin in Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma, some islands are preparing for the potential impact of another storm brewing in the Atlantic.

 
Irma made landfall in Cuba overnight on Friday as a Category 5 storm, blasting into seaside towns and causing flooding in low-lying areas of the capital Havana. Hurricane-force winds of 125 mph (over 200 kp/h) whipped roofs clean off buildings, ripped trees from the ground and forced evacuations along the coast.

 
Rainfall is expected to continue through Wednesday, adding one to three inches in western Cuba and up to five inches in isolated areas. Authorities are on alert for flash floods and mudslides amid recovery and clean-up efforts, while Hurricane Jose swirls in the Atlantic.

 
Most people in the coastal area live in one-story homes, putting them at great risk as floodwaters rose to roof level in some places. Residents are shocked with the damage and said that recovery will take time. Many had left town before the storm hit and all foreigners were asked to evacuate.

 
So far there have been no reports of deaths in Cuba. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, 26 deaths have been attributed to Irma. Nine were in various French territories, one in Barbuda, one in Anguilla, four in St. Maarten, four in the British Virgin Islands, four in the US Virgin Islands, and three in Puerto Rico.

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