Cuba surveys toppled houses, flooded cities in wake of Irma

CAIBARIEN, Cuba — Hurricane Irma ripped roofs off homes and flooded tons of of miles of shoreline because it raked Cuba’s northern coast after devastating islands the size of the Caribbean in a path of destruction that has left 22 individuals lifeless thus far.

As Irma left Cuba late Saturday and directed its one hundred twenty mph (195 kph) winds towards Florida, authorities on the island have been assessing the injury and warning of staggering injury to keys off the northern coast studded with all-inclusive resorts and cities, in addition to farmland in central Cuba.

There have been no fast 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.

Residents of “the capital ought to know that the flooding goes to final greater than 36 hours, in different phrases, it will persist,” Civil Protection Col. Luis Angel Macareno stated late Saturday, including that the waters had attain at about 2,000 ft (600 meters) into Havana.

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

Video pictures 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.

Greater than 5,000 vacationers have been evacuated from the keys off Cuba’s north-central coast, the place the federal government has constructed dozens of resorts in recent times.

Civil Protection official Gregorio Torres stated authorities have been making an attempt to tally the extent of the injury in japanese Cuba, house to a whole lot of rural communities and farmland.

In Caibarien, a small coastal metropolis about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Havana, winds downed energy strains and a 3-block space was beneath water. Many residents had stayed put, hoping to journey out the storm.

Earlier than slamming into Cuba, Irma had triggered havoc within the Caribbean, the place it ravaged such lush resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Anguilla.

Lots of Irma’s victims fled their battered islands on ferries and fishing boats for worry Hurricane Jose would destroy or drench something Irma left untouched, however Jose veered away earlier than…

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