Heavy Rains Affecting Cuban Central Provinces

Havana, May 29 (Prensa Latina) Thousands of people evacuated and significant material damage was recorded today in the central and western Cuban regions, as a result of floods caused by heavy rains, associated with subtropical storm Alberto.

According to reports from local authorities, in the province of Sancti Spiritus, where the bridge in Zaza del Medio locality collapsed, about 15,000 residents remain sheltered in evacuation centers and in homes of family and friends.

Damages are also recorded in more than 120 homes, landslides, and urban, inter-municipal and national transportation services were suspended by security measures until the weather conditions improve.

During a tour of that central territory, Chief of Civil Defense’s General Staff, Ramon Pardo, called to maximize security and protection measures in order to protect the population and the economic goods.

The provinces of Cienfuegos and Villa Clara also present severe damages due to the passing of the storm.

The alarm phase was firstly decreed and the Civil Defense work groups and subgroups are active to minimize those damages.

The latest reports from that territory state that although rainfall has reduced today, rains at intervals and floods still remain, a situation exacerbated by 400 millimeter rainfall in the last 24 hours, unprecedented figures at this time of the year.

There, more than 11,000 inhabitants have been evacuated and tree falls and landslides are reported, and dams have reached an average of 124 percent of their total capacity and all of them are easing.

Villa Clara authorities say that May has been the rainiest month in that territory in the last 60 years, a situation that caused the evacuation of 16,000 people.

According to the Villa Clara Defense Council, some 300 cubic millimeters of water have been recorded up to now and the volumes of dams remain high.

The National Bus Company and the Cuban Railways Company decided since Monday to suspend transportation to and from those provinces due to traffic interruptions at kilometer 255 of the National Highway, in the Villa Clara municipality of Ranchuelo, and on the Central Road in the area of El Perico, in the town of Jatibonico in Sancti Spiritus.

The measure will continue as long as the adverse conditions for traffic persist.

The Cuban Institute of Meteorology forecasts strong and locally heavy rains for the next hours.

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