Documentation of devastation across all Provinces in Cuba by

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Documentation of devastation across all Provinces in Cuba by United Nations


United Nations

Office of the Resident Coordinator in Cuba

From: Office of the Resident Coordinator in Cuba

Subject: Situation Report No. 3 “Hurricane IKE”- September 11, 2008- 18:00 hrs.


Since the end of August, Cuba has suffered in a very short period of time the direct or indirect impact of three hurricanes: GUSTAV, the most devastating in the past 50 years; HANNA, which, although did not make a direct strike at the Island, caused flooding in the Eastern part of the country and IKE, which advanced through all the national territory The main damage have so far been reported on housing and the power grid, although the agricultural and cattle sector has also been severely affected

Although IKE is already far from the Cuban territory its influence continues to be felt in the western-most part of the nation. According to Advisory Note 30 from Cuba’s Weather Office, the hurricane’s associated rains will be felt strongly today in the province of Pinar del Rio and there remains the danger of coastal flooding in low-lying areas in Pinar del Río´s western end and in the southern coast of Havana province.

Measures adopted by the Government of Cuba

The National Headquarters of Cuban Civil Defense, in its Note 9, of today, decided to declare the Recuperative Phase in the province of Pinar del Rio.

In the agricultural sector, emphasis is placed on the recovery of produce for human and animal consumption, clearing up the coffee fields of thousands of trees felled by the storm and planting crops of a short cycle.

Special attention is given to carefully attending and properly feeding all persons who remain protected at official installations.

Affected educational centers will introduce different strategies for the resumption of the school year, such as moving classrooms, regrouping students, applying only one session of classes and the use of other sites, such as private homes and/or state-owned buildings. Today the new school year began in Santiago de Cuba and Granma provinces.

All provinces are working in the restoration of electricity service in the affected areas. The situation at the nation’s water reservoirs is closely monitored, specially attending to measuring the amount of rain fall.

Health authorities are reinforcing vigilance in the areas affected by flooding and the overflowing of rivers and creeks in order to prevent possible outbreaks of diseases.

The National Housing Institute is planning to offer advisory and quality control support to those interested in restoring their home—many of them without technical building knowledge – since the population itself provides 70% of the work force for reconstruction. This technical advice would avoid bigger building damage in the future.

Preliminary Damage:

According to Victor Ramirez, President of the National Housing Institute, hurricane IKE caused damage in over 200,000 homes in Cuba, of which 30,000 are a total loss. If the damage caused by the previous store, GUSTAV, is added, then the amount of damaged homes amounts to 320,000, most of which had their roofs blown away or damaged.

The following figures of damage are additional to those included in previous Situation Reports:

Guantánamo province

Total number of evacuees amounts to 116,000, most of them in the Baracoa, Guantánamo, El Salvador, Punta de Maisi, Yateras and San Antonio del Sur counties.

Agriculture and fisheries:

Heavily affected are the coffee and manioc plantations and other crops in full activity, such as guava and avocados. Preliminary figures indicate that some 300,000 tins of coffee are lost, with the biggest losses recorded in Maisi and Yateras, with 144,000 and 107,000 lost tins, respectively.

The plantations of bananas, a staple in this province, suffered huge losses in virtually all counties: Maisi, Yateras, Baracoa and Guantánamo, being the most damaged.

Power Grid

Electricity blackouts continued to affect some populated areas in the province.

Hydraulic situation

The Jaibo and Los Asientos reservoirs are feeding the respective rivers, while La Yaya is 99% full. Flooding was reported in Imias country due to the overflowing of the Toa, Macaguanica and El Jobo rivers.


Over 10,000 homes affected, 300 of them being a total loss.


Road connections between Punta de Maisi and Yateras were cut.

Santiago de Cuba Province

Extensive damage is reported, especially in the housing, road, power grid, agriculture and sugar cane plantations, food, commerce and other service institutions and activities.

Guamá county is still isolated due to the overflowing of several of the 33 rivers that crisscross that county, both coastal and mountain.

Agriculture and fisheries:

The heavy rains have completely saturated the underground water table and have accelerated the ripening of coffee beans, the main economic activity in the Plan Turquino. This implies the risk that coffee production quotas might not be met.

Some 173,000 coffee tins are on the ground and other 175,000 tins run the risk of falling from the coffee trees in the Tercer Frente, Segundo Frente, Guamá and San Luís counties.


49 food distributing centers are reportedly damaged.

Power Grid

Several circuits are blacked out in the provincial capital and other counties.

Hydraulic situation

The 11 reservoirs in the province are 80% full.


So far, 3,358 homes had been affected, of which 115 are a total loss, 441 other are partially destroyed, 538 lost their cover and 2,264 have partial roof loss. Most affected is Santiago de Cuba County, with 1,169 damage homes.


33 educational institutions in the province show damage in their roofs, windows and walls.

Granma Province

Of the 345,000 evacuees in the entire province, 3,422 of them were reported in Guisa county shelters, 18 of which were set up for this purpose.

Agriculture and fishing:

The Cauto Cristo county reports so far damage to banana (86,000 trees) plantations and 32,000 root vegetable plants affected.

Power Grid

On 10 September, the population at the Cauto Cristo county still lacked electricity services due to the fall of cables and posts.


Preliminary reports from Cauto Cristo county noted that 268 homes report partial or total roof and wall damage.


68 school centers were damaged, mainly in the localities of Río Cauto, Bayamo, and Bartolomé Masó.

Holguín Province

Main damage is concentrated in the Banes, Gibara, Moa, Mayarí and Antilla counties. Evacuation centers continue to be activated in Banes county for some 1,000 persons.


Huge food storage depots had their roofs, windows and other parts severely affected.

Agriculture and Fisheries

14,000 hectares planted to bananas and other 3,000 planted to manioc are reportedly affected.


25 schools have suffered damage in Banes county.

Power Grid

In the Banes county, 85% of the power grid was strongly affected. 200 posts are down.

Hydraulic Situation

At present, the reservoirs are at 96% capacity.


The housing sector has sustained major damage, particularly to roofs and walls. As a consequence, thousands of families have partially lost their homes and a large part of their


As of today, 93,000 dwellings are being reported damaged; of these, 14,000 have been leveled. In the municipality of Banes more than 80% of the buildings (19,000 homes) are damaged.

Las Tunas Province

Water and Sanitation

In the municipalities of Puerto Padre, Jesús Menéndez, Manatí and Majibacoa it is not possible to pump water because electricity service has not been restored.

Power Grid

Five municipalities (Puerto Padre, Jesús Menéndez, Manatí y Majibacoa) remain without electricity. The municipality of Las Tunas has now restored the power grid.


The roadways in the affected municipalities are still blocked by toppled trees.

Camagüey Province

The 268,700 evacuees are currently returning to their residences. 17,000 remain in temporary shelters due to the state of their homes; more than 9,000 are in government provided shelters and 8,000 in homes of friends and family.

Water and Sanitation

Full supply of water has not yet been restored in the territory.


92 tons of food stored in the warehouse of the Food Products Wholesale Enterprise, which stores the products for the municipalities of Guaimaro and Sibanicú, has been ruined.

The Taíno cheese factory sustained damage to the roof and remains without electricity. An ammonia leak was repaired. This factory produces 80% of the cheese for school snacks in the province.

The cheese factory and the milk industry of Martí were temporarily out of service. The damage to warehouse and poultry barns is currently being assessed.


At present, 195 educational centers are reporting damage: 14 daycare centers, 89 primary schools (5 have collapsed) and 21 pre-universities.


Numerous manufacturing and port facilities are reporting damage.

Dock warehouses in Nuevitas were damaged; much of the merchandise was soaked, including several tons of cement. Cement, fertilizer, electrode and cable/wire factories were also damaged.


The polyclinic-hospital “Manuel A. de Varona” in the municipality of Sibanicú suffered serious damage to its walls, windows, parts of the roof and doors.

Power Grid

The power grid and its 33,000 Volt lines and 110,000 Volt lines, due to fallen towers, posts, transformers and cables, is seriously crippled.

Three quarters of the population of the city of Camaguey were without electricity last night. Sector authorities confirm that it will take 3-4 days more before service is re-established.


More than 60,000 homes in the province are damaged. In the municipality of Sibanicú alone, 4,800 dwellings are damaged, 540 completely. In the municipality of Nuevitas nearly 5,000 dwellings are damaged.


The municipality of Sibanicú is reporting damage to 35 schools.


The municipality of Sibanicú is reporting damage to 32 commercial centers.

Various sport facilities were also damaged. Among the most affected is the Sport Palace “Rafael Fortún Chacón” in the capital city. The multi-use sports area lost its roof and the field suffered damage. Also affected are the Gymnastic school, the Physical Education Centre, the Castillito, the Sport Initiation School “Cerro Pelado”, and to a lesser extent the “Cándido González” stadium.

The roofs of the stadiums in Vertientes and Jimaguayú are damaged; various gyms in Lucha, in the municipality of Florida had their roofs demolished. In the municipality of Nuevitas, the Coliseum “Ángel Alberto Domínguez”, the university center and the school where sailing sports are practiced were damaged.

Ciego de Ávila Province

None of the 10 municipalities in this province escaped the wind and rain associated with IKE.

Agriculture and Fisheries

More than 5,300 hectares of banana and more than 3,500 tons of bananas were damaged.

Sancti Spiritus Province

The southern coast of the province was one of the zones most affected in the territory.

Agriculture and Fishing

In the municipality of Cabaiguán 10 tons of tobacco have deteriorated due to the destruction of warehouse roofs. Damage has also been reported to various crops and the fishing activities.


In the municipality of Trinidad, the major damage was to residential roofs, among those most affected was the fishing community of Casilda and the neighborhood of Armando Mestre. The municipality of Cabaiguán is reporting 363 dwellings affected, 42 of which have collapsed completely.

In the fishing communities of Tunas de Zaza and El Médano approximately 250 homes were partially or totally affected.

Power Grid

As of Thursday, the municipalities of Cabaiguán, Taguasco, La Sierpe and Jatibonico remain disconnected from the National Power Grid.


In the city of Trinidad roof damage is being reported to the Physiotherapy Unit of Polyclinic 1.


In the municipality of Trinidad, damage to the roof of the theatre La Caridad is reported and the iron structure that crowned the Plaza Carrillo in the center of the city has been lost. In this municipality, 22 state entities were affected.

Cienfuegos Province

Four priority areas in the province have been returned to normal: health, water, food and communications.

Agriculture and Fishing

The most significant impact has been the flooding of 700 hectares of sugar cane and 300 hectares of diversified crops, primarily yam, malanga, manioc and banana. The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture conducted an assessment of the situation and the damage with the principal agriculture enterprises in the territory.


Attention to the food needs/security of the 16,000 persons residing in shelter is the priority. The condition of their homes prevents them from returning at this time.

An evaluation of the damage to storage facilities and distribution points is being assessed.


Both the state and the residential sector is currently being assessed for damage. At this point, 25 homes are reported to be damaged.


In Aguada de Pasajeros, the cresting of the River Hanábana has caused flooding of a 3,000 meter stretch of the National Highway, between kilometers 166 and 168. Traffic traveling from the east towards the Capital will be blocked for at least 2 days. The Southern Circuit highway, which links Cienfuegos to Trinidad, has also been damaged.


Work continues in damage assessment and verification of the condition of schools, their facilities and basic study material. Currently school centers are housing evacuees.

Power Grid

Fallen electrical posts are reported.

Province of Villa Clara

As of yesterday, the 10th of September, 3,129 persons remained in shelter due to the risk of flooding in Sagua and Santo Domingo; 59 school-based evacuation shelters remain active.

Agriculture and Fishing:

The damage is considerable, mainly in banana, manioc, corn, and coffee crops and poultry as well as to greenhouses and warehouses.


Various communities in Macizo de Guamuhaya remain cut-off due to flooding, which has impeded populations’ return to their homes.


5,718 homes are reporting damage, mainly to roofs.

It is reported that in the municipality of Manicaragua, 354 houses do not have roofs.

Hydraulic Situation

Accumulated rainfall of 400 mm is reported. With limited natural drainage and over saturation

of soils, serious flooding is taking place in some of the zones of Macizo de Guamuhaya.

Matanzas Province

Power Grid

Damage is being reported to 110,000 Volt high tension wires in Matanzas, Cárdenas, Varadero, Jovellanos, Calimete, Agramonte and other territories.

The thermoelectrical plants Antonio Guiteras and Martí, in the provincial capital, as well as ENERGAS, in Cárdenas, have stopped operations due to various problems.

Matanzas (64 %), Calimete (69 %), Los Arabos (34 %), Colón (48 %), Jovellanos (81 %), and Perico (63 %) do not have full electrical coverage.

Water and Sanitation

A significant amount of pumping equipment is not operational. As such, more than 141,000 persons are not receiving water supplied by the aqueduct system – which has additionally been affected by the floods and lack of electricity.

Pinar del Río Province

The situation has recently become more complex in the municipality of Los Palacios due to intense rainfall and subsequent flooding in the town.

In general, there are sea swells on coasts, overflowing rivers and creeks cutting off highways, flooding and mountain landslides resulting in lack of communication of much of the population. IKE hit the province in the same area as GUSTAV did.

192, 613 persons are reported evacuated.

As of yesterday afternoon, 6,000 inhabitants of the Manuel Sanguily community were going to be evacuated to safer locations due to the risk of flooding.


Housing damage is still being assessed.

Hydraulic Situation

Of the 31 reservoirs in Pinar del Rio, 18 are releasing overflow. The average reservoir is at 63% capacity, a figure which could rise due to runoff.

Between 8:00 am yesterday and 4:00 am today, Candelaria and Viñales received more than 300 mm of rain; La Palma received 200 mm.


Losses are reported in mountain areas, especially in coffee plantations. All the planted areas in the province are destroyed, especially the banana fields. At the Cooperative Aguedo Morales, the largest national producer of bananas through the high density system, not one single plant was left standing.

The rice fields were also severely affected.


Due to flooding, passage to Guane city has been cut through Isabel Rubio and Punta de la Sierra, although access is possible on the road to Mantua.

Also, in Viñales city the circulation of vehicles was interrupted near Rancho San Vicente and San Cayetano. In La Palma County, also isolated by road is the township of San Andres de Caiguanabo.

Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth

Only nine days after this territory was struck by the powerful GUSTAV, this area was covered this Tuesday by rains and wind associated to IKE.

Thousands who live in low-lying areas were evacuated to shelters and homes of family or neighbors due to the threat of flooding and the possible overflow of the Las Casas River.

Hydraulic situation:

The reservoirs at 89.7% full and two of the 14 artificial reservoirs are full and feeding water. The later have a total capacity of 180 cubic meters of water.


Transportation by sea to and from the Isle of Youth was suspended until the weather conditions improve. Local urban transport was also gradually suspended.

Solid waste

130,000 cubic meters of waste are still to be removed, and these could obstruct the normal circulation of rain water.

Actions Taken by the United Nations System in Cuba:

The United Nations System (UN) in Cuba has kept its disaster management mechanisms active, given the grave situation that country is going through. The UN

Country Team and the UNETE continue to closely follow the current situation and work towards a preliminary evaluation of the severe effects. The team preparing the

Situation Reports continues to work consistently.

Up to the present, the United Nations System has mobilized 1.03 million USD in support for the

recovery process: OCHA (100,000 USD), UNDP (100,000 USD), UNFPA (50,000 USD),

UNICEF (280,000 USD) and WFP (500,000 USD).


For further information, please contact the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Cuba, at the following e-mail addresses:

Susan McDade: mobile 53 52802757; email [email protected]

Roberto Gálvez: mobile 53 52851470; email [email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]; [email protected]

Consult the United Nations Website in Cuba:

For national information, consult:

Instituto de Meteorología de Cuba

Infomed Red De Salud Cubana

Periódico Granma

Periódico Juventud Rebelde

Agencia Cubana de Noticias

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» Man that is truly horrible. Sobering, brutal, horrible.

While I know that we have many issues happening here in the USA, the pure humanitarian needs that the people of Cuba need are overwhelming to me. It is well beyond time to pull our collective head's out of our ass and end this failed embargo. The people of Cuba need help right now, not down the line a few years from now.

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