HAVANA TIMES – Cuban authorities are still evaluating the damage caused by Hurricane Ida after passing over the Isle of Youth and Pinar del Rio on Friday afternoon and evening. The center of a much stronger Ida is now expected to hit the US Gulf Coast sometime Sunday evening.
The good news in Cuba is that no deaths have been reported thus far with the passing of the storm. Cuban Civil Defense is especially efficient at evacuating people potentially in danger.
Initial reports speak of crop losses, mainly to cassava, bananas and corn, damaged roofs of both homes and state properties, fallen trees and electric and telephone cables. The officials are currently evaluating and quantifying what they are saying was not highly serious damage. Likewise, crews are already repairing the electric and phone lines.
With 70-75 mph winds, Hurricane Ida first touched Cuban soil in the Isle of Youth at 2:30 PM on Friday and then after a brief return to the sea, crossed Pinar del Rio, leaving for good at 9:30 PM.
Pinar del Rio is currently one of the Cuban provinces most affected by the Covid-19 surge. While the province is used to confronting such storms, the combination with the virus danger and food and medicine shortages, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.