Two Dead and Dozens of Buildings Collapse from Heavy Rains in Havana

Flooding on Wednesday April 29, 2015. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Two persons are dead and nearly 30 homes collapsed, three total, after heavy rains and flooding Wednesday afternoon in Havana, reported dpa news.

The victims are an 81-year-old woman who drowned in the central district of Old Havana, and a man of 24 who was electrocuted by a fallen cable.

The official press also reported 24 partial home collapses and three total in the capital. The rainfall also caused power outages and the water supply was out in several areas of the capital.
The winds also downed several trees.

The districts of Centro Habana, Old Havana and Cerro were the most affected by the floods, according to preliminary information from the authorities. It is believed that the reports of damage and people affected could rise.

Several Havana neighborhoods like Miramar, in Playa municipality, and Vedado in Plaza de la Revolución were partially flooded..

According to Granma daily, the precipitation was the product of several thunderstorms that formed in the Straits of Florida ahead of a cold front, strong winds with gusts up to 98 k/ph and hail in some areas were part of the flash storm.

Havana recorded a strong heat wave in recent days, with record temperatures for this time of year.

Due to the poor state of many buildings, Havana regularly has problems with the collapse of buildings and homes during and after heavy rains occur.

8 thoughts on “Two Dead and Dozens of Buildings Collapse from Heavy Rains in Havana

  • Why don’t you consider that Cubans begin to help themselves? Rather than suggest that the world “give” Cuba building materials, wouldn’t it be better for Cubans to buy these materials? Lacking the money to do so implies that what Cubans really need is the freedom to earn more money. Your observations about Cuba from your short time there are spot on. Your solution however will not solve the problems in Cuba. In fact, in time, giveaways only make things worse.

  • I was in Cuba on this day of the heavy rainfall. We were visiting a school and other places. We were told that some people had died and that the roofs were in danger of collapse, some had collapsed. This heavy rain reminded me of a stormy snow day in Canada. We had roof collapses in Halifax, in March due to snow and ice. The Cuban people were very concerned for their fellow people during these days of rainy weather.
    Cuba needs an influx of foreign money to help repair and rebuild the crumbling infrastructure, it is a third world country after all. Many buildings are in danger of falling, along the Malecon, there is work going on to restore the buildings. This is good news, however I visited many Cuban homes where the stairs are dangerous due to cracks and age, electricity wires are exposed and paint is badly needed. Bathrooms and kitchens lack flowing water, a rainy day brings new problems with leaking, and even water flowing into some private homes. The streets fill with water, drainage is poor and health hazards increase.
    The world now has a chance to visit Cuba, Cuba needs money and some positive ideas to make life better for Cubans. The people of Cuba are well educated and know about health care and hygiene, the children are well cared for with bright smiles and clean healthy teeth. Babies are healthy and there are many positives. There are unlimited talented Cubans in many areas of life. Give the Cubans materials and they will make a better community for themselves.Many Cubans do not want to leave Cuba, they just want better living standards at home, accessible water, jobs, more money and some of the comforts of life that we all want to enjoy.

  • Fifty six years worth of rebuilding, to be precise. The Castros have almost succeeded in destroying Cuba. There are no statues of Fidel in Cuba, but the ruins of Havana will be his monument.

  • I just returned from Havana. Restoration work is under way in many sections of the old City. It is a race to get as much saved as possible as buildings are collapsing on regular order every few days. The City has 100 years worth of rebuilding ahead.

  • When asked by Canadian friends to briefly describe Cuba, I responded that I could do so in one word: “Crumbling”. It is not only Havana, all the other cities and towns suffer from similar problems. The old wooden shacks with newspaper stuffed in the gaps in the walls, those constructed with fieldstone covered by plaster and those constructed with a weak concrete mix are all at risk. Our local municipal office boasted a large sign across the ground floor boasting: “Cuba, prosperous and sustainable” but the second floor has many broken windows belying the claim. The provincial office had in preparation for May Day a huge banner proclaiming “Socialismo o Muerte” so I commented to one of the staff that in Canada we have never had a socialist government and most of us are alive and well. The reality of Raul declaring that Cubans could now buy and sell their homes, is that the state no longer has any responsibility to maintain them.

  • The reality is that building collapses in Havana are much worse than official reports. Often times when collapses occur, makeshift repairs are made to keep the living space habitable, if only barely so. Every Cuban in Havana knows to never walk under balconies a after a storm. When the sun comes out and the limestone begins to dry, buildings collapse. Castros’ revolution has accumulated 56 years of neglected building maintenance. The situation is only going to get worse.

  • Saying prayers for my friends and family in Havana!

  • Ask friendly countries for aid an assistance if you require it. I pray that the water will recede very soon.

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