The Latest Building Collapse in Old Havana

Text and photos by Yunier Gutierrez  (Lahoradecuba)

Building collapse victims in Old Havana

HAVANA TIMES – Weakened by the heavy rains that have recently hit the capital, as well as high temperatures, the roof of a multi-family apartment block (57 Monte Street, between Agramonte and Cardenas Streets in Havana) caved in on the afternoon of July 22nd.

The roof began to fall down in bits at approximately 5:30 PM, when some of the residents in the building were coming home from work. The old wooden posts placed in parallel, weren’t able to bear the rain and immediately gave way.

“I really don’t know how we managed to get out, we didn’t have much time and I was out of my wits,” one of the residents affected told La Hora de Cuba.

This unfortunate incident didn’t result in the loss of human lives, luckily. Residents from the twenty-six apartments in the building are now living out on the street or have been taken in by friends and relatives. Many do not know what condition their belongings at are in.

In spite of the upsetting experience they are living, some of the victims are firmly holding their ground and have decided not to leave the place because they are afraid the building will be razed to the ground and they will be sent to state-run shelters [where some people stay years and even decades], with no return date.

As July 23rd passed by, they hadn’t received any food or water, while still waiting for some official to worry about the situation they are facing.

Elderly and children are usually the most affected in these bitter experiences.

In recent years, the number of collapses has increased in the Cuban capital, especially in Old Havana and Central Havana, as a result of the deplorable condition of housing and the climate phenomena which speeds up the collapse of these old buildings, making them lethal for those who (without any decent alternative in sight) insist on living in them.


31 thoughts on “The Latest Building Collapse in Old Havana

  • August 6, 2019 at 2:05 am
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    Should one comment the comprehensive commentaries after Obamas Policy on Cuba hast shown how wrong populist Handshake diplomacy can get ? I visited Cuba in 1999 on a Cruise Shop. I stayed 12 years and left in 2011, quote different to the Person I was when I entered that Greatest Island of the Caribbean.

  • August 2, 2019 at 7:29 am
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    This article and the comments thereto could have been written about Cuban 10 years ago. Nothing has really changed since Raul took over from his brother more than 10 years ago. Now even with Diaz-Canel as President and Raul still calling the shots as head of the Communist party, there is little reason to believe that change in Cuba in the near future will occur. Well, that’s not entirely true. No doubt that conditions will worsen as support from Venezuela continues to disappear.

  • August 1, 2019 at 12:57 am
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    Several years ago I saw a documentary from Cuba which had official sponsorship. It actually admitted that life in the rural areas of Oriente Province, living conditions are largely unchanged since 1959! (no electricity, primitive roads, and palm roofs on shacks, etc.)

  • August 1, 2019 at 12:50 am
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    Tourists should also be shown the lovely seaside estates of the Castro Bros. Unlike many homes in Cuba, their estates are not collapsing, nor is sewage overflowing from them.

    For so many years, foreigners and sympathizers were fed the myth that Fidel lived in a simple apartment on Calle 11a, and earned a salary of 100 pesos monthly!

  • August 1, 2019 at 12:46 am
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    It was also Cuba’s insular geography that made it possible for Fidel to completely seal off Cuba from the outside world and to prevent the spreading of subversive concepts like “glasnost” from ever reaching Cuba.

  • August 1, 2019 at 12:39 am
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    Also be aware that cholera is now present in Cuba, due to widespread breakdowns of septic tank and sewerage systems.

  • August 1, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    When San Fidel was still in charge of ruining his island, “ordinary” Cubans were denied access to any of those hotels.
    I myself witnessed this happen in front of the Habana Libre in 1978.

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