The Forecast Center of the Institute of Meteorology (Insmet) of Cuba reported after noon this Sunday that in the last 24 hours continued the reports of numerous rains throughout the country, locally intense in towns of Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus and Camagüey.
The minimum of these figures was 108 millimeters, in Jagüey Grande, Matanzas; while the highest record, corresponding to the Cienfuegos municipalities of Rodas, was close to 179 mm.
The meteorological situation, which was associated with the persistence of a trough in the middle and upper levels of the troposphere over the Gulf of Mexico and a very humid flow from the south in the lower troposphere over the central and eastern regions of Cuba, has left innumerable island damage.
Only in eastern Granma, more than 300 millimeters of rain had already been recorded in one day, according to various local media, for which there were severe floods with thousands of people affected in one way or another; there was one death and hundreds of homes with severe damage.
Evacuees and damage to the economy
Due to the floods, which kept several communities isolated, thousands of people continued to be protected in safe places and many others incommunicado in their communities.
The numbers of evacuees ranged from the 4,700 reported from Holguín to the 1,873 reported from Las Tunas, where they also reported 429 affected homes and several hundred hectares of damaged crops.
In Santiago de Cuba, 18,000 people were incommunicado due to the floods, and they counted damages in more than 600 hectares of crops, while there were 22 total landslides, according to a report by Cuban television.
Latin Press needed that in Camagüey around 450 damaged homes are quantified, due to total or partial collapses, and some 191 families made up of 697 people were cared for in state centers.
The Cuban president expressed the “solidarity” of his government with the families affected by the heavy rains, which has also added power cuts and supply problems.
Our solidarity with the families affected by the heavy rains. Let’s go to recovery, no one will be left homeless. Our recognition to the leaders and institutions that have faced these events with courage, heroism, decision and organization. #FuerzaCuba 🇨🇺
— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) June 11, 2023
“We are going to recovery, no one will be left homeless. Our recognition to the leaders and institutions that have faced these events with courage, heroism, determination and organization,” Díaz-Canel said from Twitter.
The floods have also revealed “bad practices” in the basins that capture the water that feeds them, whether from agriculture (state or private), mining, forestry, works in progress or poorly executed that exacerbate erosion, according to the user José Rivera Rosales pointed out on facebook, in a text shared by the page secret naturelinked to CITMA.
Without the human presence disturbing the terrestrial ecosystems (by managing them poorly), the waters that we see running would have a different coloration, which is evidenced by the many sediments that they transport, he pointed out.
Given the difficult situation that the heavy rains 🌧️ of the last few days have caused in several provinces of the country, we inform the hygienic-sanitary measures to be complied with by the population.
— Ministry of Public Health of Cuba (@MINSAPCuba) June 11, 2023
If we made measurements of the flows and determined the sediments and nutrients in each flow unit, we would be surprised by the astronomical figures of the weight in sediments and nutrients that we are sending towards our insular platform and towards the vessels of the dams in each of the avenues of the rivers that discharge into them, specified this post.
The MINSAP, for its part, warned about the need to adopt measures to avoid the health risks that come with contamination due to floods.
Due to the heavy rains, the filling level of the reservoirs, in some places above 85% of their capacity, and the saturation of the soils, special attention should be paid to the information issued by the National Forecast Center. and the Provincial Meteorological Centers during the next few days, warned the Insmet.