By Irina Echarry, Photos: Caridad
HAVANA TIMES, March 25 – Hurricanes are frequent visitors to Cuba. From June until the end of November, we can be walloped by their wind, rain or from sea surges.
Even when efficient civil defense procedures are able to save our most important assets: human lives, the catastrophes in terms of lost infrastructure, crops and material goods, leave a painful memory among residents of affected communities.
The year 2008 was a particularly active year when Cuba was hit by three major hurricanes: Gustav, Ike and Palmoa. A photographic exhibition titled Retos de la naturaleza (Challenges of Nature) displays moments of last year’s storm season. It is currently on display at the Simon Bolivar Center in Old Havana.
Under difficult circumstances, photojournalists with the Cuban News Agency (ACN) were able to capture images of devastation, pounding waves, and the infuriated winds in the different provinces where the hurricanes struck.
The exhibition, sponsored by the International Press Service (IPS), was inaugurated on March 20 and starting in May will travel around the country to the different provinces hit by the hurricanes.
A woman sitting with her television amid the destruction of what was her house, a boy contemplating the devastated landscape, the face of an old woman overwhelmed with anguish as others help her to move, and flattened trees and homes are among the striking images captured.
Also recorded is the logical solidarity that is established between victims of the force of nature, as well as of other people of other countries who offered help in any way they could.
Thanks to this photographic exhibit, those who were not in Cuba in the second semester of 2008 will not be left unmindful of the disaster, nor of the reconstruction of hope.
Click on the thumbnails to see all the photos in this gallery