Thousands of Cubans Are Left Without Electricity After Friday’s Rain and Hail Storms

Another phenomenon that accompanied the storms were gusts of wind up to 47 miles per hour / Mario J. Pentón

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 March 2024 — The rain and hail that hit western Cuba this Friday left 120,000 users without power in Havana alone, as reported on Saturday morning by Lázaro Guerra, technical director of the Unión Eléctrica (UNE). The rest of the western provinces also suffered serious effects, although the worst was in four municipalities in Havana: El Cotorro, San Miguel, Arroyo Naranjo and Boyeros.

In addition, 13,679 customers are without electricity in Pinar del Río, 54,787 in Artemisa, 43,808 in Mayabeque and 38,000 in Matanzas. Guerra said that they have summoned technical brigades from the central provinces to help in the repair of the electricity network of the most damaged areas.

A series of clouds with rain and thunderstorms, whose passage between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm was reported by the Institute of Meteorology this Friday, also brought hailstorms in the western towns of Honda Bay, Guanajay, Mariel, Bauta and several municipalities in the capital. The images of the hail, which according to the official press reached the size of “a one-peso coin,” circulated widely on social networks.

Hailstone in the Havana municipality of El Cotorro / 14ymedio

On Friday, State reporter Lázaro Manuel Alonso published some videos of the ravages that the storm was causing in Havana. The images showed the difficult advance of several vehicles on a flooded and rainy road, in addition to mounds of hail accumulated in the streets and courtyards of several houses in the Reparto Eléctrico, La Güinera and Punta Brava neighborhoods. In addition, the Luyanó River overflowed its banks, and traffic was stopped on the Via Blanca.

This is what 52nd and 99th streets looked like this Saturday, in Lotería, a municipality of Cotorro / Courtesy

The Caribbean Channel reported that several individuals who had been trapped in their vehicles during the flooding had to be rescued by firefighters. “Sources from the place confirm that the cars were swept away by the flood, while neighbors in the area had to evacuate,” they explained on social networks.

Overflowing rash bins hit by the downpour, on Calle Valle in Havana / 14ymedio

Another phenomenon that accompanied the rains were gusts of wind up to 47 miles per hour, in addition to “floods in low-lying and poorly drained areas,” according to the Institute. It also warned that the western region will continue to be cloudy on Saturday, with showers and thunderstorms becoming milder at night. The center of the country will be cloudy, with rain and thunderstorms, while the east will have few clouds and isolated rain showers.

Translated  by Regina Anavy


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