June 6 (Granma) President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, spoke via teleconference with Party and government authorities from the western and central provinces, to review recovery efforts in territories affected by recent heavy rainfall.
During the meeting, which included the participation of Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee Second Secretary, José Ramón Machado Ventura, officials assessed progress made in efforts to repair damage, above all to the agricultural sector, roads, homes, and water supplies.
Preliminary evaluations indicate that 9,972 homes from Pinar del Río to Ciego de Ávila suffered some sort of damage, of which 486 are reported to have been completely destroyed. It was noted that resources have already been sent to these provinces to aid recovery efforts.
Meanwhile, the bridge located at kilometer 213 of the National Highway is set to be reopened shortly.
Officials reported that Cuba’s reservoirs currently contain 5,000 cubic meters of water following the heavy rains. Water levels in five reservoirs rose beyond maximum capacity, while efforts are underway to repair 136 aqueducts which were damaged.
Likewise, 1,500 hectares of bean crops were ruined and some 10,000 of root vegetables were affected. Efforts are currently underway to salvage all possible crops and deliver them directly to market.
Officials noted that power has been restored in most areas, although some are still without electricity after they were cut off due to flooding.
As for food supplies, subsidized products were delivered on time to all relevant outlets and sales of non-regulated products remain stable.
It was also reported that the 43 schools that served as shelters for evacuees have now reopened, while the epidemiological situation is under control and no outbreaks of disease have been reported thus far.
Díaz-Canel called for a thorough, methodical investigation of the circumstances which led to the death of eight people and disappearance of one other as a result of heavy rains and flooding.
The Cuban President also reminded citizens to remain alert, with heavy rainfall forecast for the coming days.