14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, November 15, 2023 — Twenty-third Street, the main avenue of El Vedado, became a river on Wednesday afternoon as a result of the intense rains that are affecting western Cuba. Within a few minutes after the downpour began, it was barely possible to travel through La Rampa due to the current of water that descended from the highest areas towards the Malecón. The vehicles parked in the area, most of them modern cars belonging to officials of neighboring ministries, were pushed by the flow of water that increased with each minute.
Lluvias intensas sobre la ciudad de La Habana en la tarde de este miércoles y nuestro diario reporta ahora mismo desde la calle 23 en El Vedado. pic.twitter.com/RF3moeUPtE
— 14ymedio (@14ymedio) November 15, 2023
“This happened before in other neighborhoods, but 23rd Street is ready for a boat race. I’ve never seen that before,” said a man who took refuge under the eaves of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Problems with sewage affect the entire Cuban capital, and the water can’t drain through the sewage grids. It continue on its course, increasing in strength and dragging all kinds of things in its path.
From the nearby garden of the Hotel Nacional, located on a natural elevation, several tourists, with capes and umbrellas, took photos of the whirlwind that rolled down the street towards the sea. There were many, and the daring ones decided to cross the street, with water almost up to their knees; but most of the passers-by were more cautious, perhaps aware of the potholes that the water hid that can cause a twisted ankle or something worse.
Not even the most glamorous area of Havana is saved from the crisis. A river of water and vehicles pushed by the current remind us of the fragility of a city in ruins before any whim of nature.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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