My Neighborhood and Last Week’s Storm and Sea Surge (video)

Irina Pino


HAVANA TIMES – On the afternoon of December 21st, the Meteorological Institute had forecast a low pressure extratropical storm with heavy rains and sea swells along the coast, including Havana’s Malecon. This would be accompanied by winds between 30-45 km/hour.

It’s normal for our neighborhood (La Puntilla in Miramar) to flood, so we must be on the alert and take precautions.

A heavy downpour gave way to powerful gusts of wind, similar to those of a tropical storm, and saltpeter quickly covered windows so you could barely see outside. The sea began to slowly come inland, and my building was an island surrounded by water by nightfall. All of 1st street seemed to form part of the ocean.

The electricity cut out at 7 PM, adding to the eerie feeling, and didn’t come back on until the following day. Things became dangerous, we were afraid the water would come inside the building. We took turns to keep an eye out. It didn’t reach the first floor luckily, or the garage, because there is a ramp and it’s higher off the ground.

In the early morning, the water level returned to normal as winds died down. However, streets were strewn with garbage and there were countless rocks where the beach is.

On Saturday, cleaning brigades began to clean up the place to bring back order.

The flooding affected the Riomar building the most, you could say the sea has set up its home in its foundations. With that in mind, vacuum pumps have been pumping out salty water for hours on end and they were still going when I made this video.

When a phenomenon of this magnitude takes place, our streets fill with mud. It will have to rain a lot before we see them clean again.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

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