Limited May Day Events in Havana Postponed by Heavy Rains

Havana was hit with an intense storm, strong winds and electric shocks that left flooded streets and other consequences. (EFE/ Ernesto Mastrascusa)

By EFE / 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – A storm of heavy rains, strong winds and electric shocks affected Havana and other areas of western Cuba this past Sunday, causing material damage in the capital and power outages. The forecast that the storm will be prolonged has led the authorities to postpone the events for International Workers’ Day to May 5.

The downpours mainly hit the Cuban capital, where they left flooded streets and a partial building collapse in Old Havana without personal injury.

In a residential building in the historic center — located on the streets of Empedrado between Aguacate and Compostela — there was a partial collapse of several balconies, and the rubble blocked access to the exit staircase to the street.

The storm is associated with the arrival of a cold front in the western region of the island, as previously warned by a report from the Institute of Meteorology (Insmet).

Some of the main streets of the capital were flooded for an hour, and the electricity supply was unstable throughout the day.

On social networks, neighbors of provinces such as Artemisa and Cienfuegos also reported heavy rains that tore off roofs and downed poles, leaving a multitude of people without electricity.

“The events for International Workers’ Day in Cuba have been postponed to May 5 due to “the climatic instability that has caused heavy rains in several territories and the forecast for the next few hours,” announced the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC) [The Workers Central Union of Cuba], organizer of the event.

“In the territories where weather conditions allow it, the planned cultural and recreational activities will be held. According to the provisions of our legislation, the work recess is maintained this Monday,” the CTC said in a statement.

Cuba had suspended the traditional May Day parade in the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, due to the fuel crisis that has been affecting the country for several weeks.

Instead, a central event in the Malecón area of Havana was planned for this Monday, and commemorative activities in “communities, labor and student centers for several days and parades in the municipalities of the country had been programmed in parallel.”

The divide among the population to this postponement has been visible. In social media posts or comments on the articles in the official press, many Cubans have accepted the government decision, calling it prudent.

However, many users have recalled that a May Day had never been suspended due to rain and remembered getting wet listening to Fidel Castro’s speeches. “With Fidel it was with rain, with him as the Sun warming up the crowd. What happened to continuity?” asked  one commentator.

According to a report published on the Insmet website, the weather conditions in the provinces of Mayabeque and Matanzas have deteriorated in the early hours of this Monday.

The forecast indicates that the activity of showers and rains will begin to decrease from the early hours of the afternoon gradually in Pinar del Río, while the rest of the archipelago will be partially cloudy, with rain expected in the central region.

Winds from the south and southeast are also expected, with speeds between 12 and 22 miles per hour, and waves on western coasts could cause water accumulations in low areas, including the Havana Malecón, an area prone to flooding when these weather conditions occur.

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba

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