Heavy Rains Cause Two Buildings to Collapse in Matanzas Province, Cuba

The roof, part of the walls and the balconies of the old ’El Confite’ building have given way under the weight of the downpour / Facebook of Radio Llanura de Colón

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, June 22, 2024 — Two building collapses, in less than 24 hours, have shaken the province of Matanzas. One of these losses, which occurred in a central corner of the Colón municipality, took place around three in the afternoon this Saturday in the midst of the intense rains that hit western Cuba. The other collapse occurred this Friday night in the town of Alacranes, in the middle of a blackout. In neither of the cases has there been any loss of human life.

In a video filmed by the former political prisoner of the Black Spring, Iván Hernández Carrillo, images are seen of the upper part of a building in the main park of Colón that has collapsed. The roof, part of the walls and the balconies have given way under the weight of the downpour and the debris has been scattered all over the street in front of the building.

“That building was in danger of collapsing for a long time,” explains Hernández Carrillo. “The local authorities saw the situation in that place every day. Now they come and act worried but until yesterday they did not take care to prevent this from happening. Fortunately, there has been no loss of human life.”

Neighbors of the place tell 14ymedio that the building housed El Confite, an emblematic business of the municipality that experienced its moments of splendor in the 40s and 50s of the last century. The Colón Mayor’s Office was located on its upper floor. Confiscated from its owners after Fidel Castro came to power in January 1959, its large halls came to be managed by the State and, over time, suffered the deterioration of the infrastructure and the lack of renovations.

Right now the area of ​​the collapse is surrounded by nearby residents who heard the roar caused by the fall of part of the building. Protection personnel, firefighters and some party leaders of the municipality have begun to arrive at the scene.

The other collapse took place this Friday night in the town of Alacranes, also in Matanzas, and was added to the list of structural collapses that have been recorded in recent days in Cuba, due to heavy rains. The collapses have so far left one person dead, numerous injured and extensive material damage.

The house affected by the partial collapse is located on General Betancourt Street in Alacranes and part of its structure collapsed during a power outage, due to the weight of the water and its precarious structural conditions.

In this case, no deaths or injuries were reported, only material damage, thanks, in large part, to the fact that the owner was not at home at the time of the collapse, as reported on Facebook by the Radio Unión reporter, Hanoi Moreno Enriquez.

After the collapse, a brigade from the electricity company arrived in the area to restore the electricity supply. The first secretary of the Communist Party in the municipality of Unión de Reyes, Arlen González, also went to the place still in darkness and with the neighbors gathered around the affected house.

After the collapse, a brigade worked in the dark to restore the power supply / Facebook of Hanoi Moreno Enríquez

The collapse of this house is not surprising. In the province of Matanzas, as in the rest of the country, there are many houses in fair or poor construction conditions, as reported this Saturday in 14ymedio. Construction with poor quality materials, lack of repairs and little investment in the real estate sector have seriously damaged the Cuban housing stock.

The additional weight that downpours leave on the structure of homes accelerates their collapse. A situation that has worsened in recent weeks when intense rainfall has been frequent. In the western provinces, the last few days have been especially rainy due to the bands of precipitation associated with Tropical Storm Alberto.

In the last few hours, building collapses have been reported in other parts of the Island, among which a property in the shape of a small castle located in the municipality of Playa in Havana stands out. This, after the intense rains of the last few hours, collapsed at the top as shown by different images that have gone viral on social networks. With which there are already at least 19 partial collapses in the Cuban capital according to sources consulted by this newspaper.


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