Cuba sees devastation as Hurricane Irma veers toward Florida

CAIBARIEN, Cuba — Hurricane Irma ripped roofs off homes, collapsed buildings and flooded a whole lot of miles of shoreline because it raked Cuba after slicing a path of destruction throughout the Caribbean. It has killed no less than 24 individuals and has officers scrambling to deliver help on Sunday.

As Irma left Cuba and directed its one hundred thirty mph (215 kph) winds towards Florida, authorities on the island have been warning of staggering injury to keys alongside the northern coast studded with all-inclusive resorts and cities, in addition to farmland in central Cuba.

There have been no quick reviews of deaths in Cuba — a rustic that prides itself on its catastrophe preparedness — however authorities have been making an attempt to revive energy, clear roads and warning that folks ought to keep off the streets of Havana as a result of flooding might proceed into Monday.

Authorities information web site Cubadebate stated evacuations throughout the island totaled over 1 million individuals.

Emergency staff in inflatable boats navigated flooded streets Sunday alongside Havana’s shoreline, the place hundreds of individuals left their houses for safer floor earlier than Hurricane Irma hit Cuba.

Seawater penetrated as a lot as 1,600 ft (500 meters) inland in elements of the town. Timber toppled, roofs have been torn off, cement water tanks fell from roofs to the bottom and electrical strains are down.

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Pictures: Hurricane Irma scenes: Cuba

Elena Villar and her mom spent the night time huddling within the foyer of a constructing on larger floor as her house of 30 years crammed with greater than 6 ft (2 meters) of water.

“I’ve misplaced every part,” she stated, on the sting of tears. Villar added: “I’ve by no means seen a catastrophe like this.”

Civil Protection Col. Luis Angel Macareno warned that the flooding in Havana would persist for greater than 36 hours.

As Irma rolled in, Cuban troopers went by means of coastal cities to pressure residents to evacuate, taking individuals to shelters at authorities buildings and faculties — even caves.

Video photographs from northern and japanese Cuba confirmed uprooted utility poles and indicators, many downed timber and in depth injury to roofs. Witnesses stated a provincial museum close to the attention of the storm was in ruins. And authorities within the metropolis of Santa Clara stated 39 buildings collapsed.

The keys off the north-central coast, the place the federal government has constructed dozens of resorts in recent times, have been evacuated…

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