Minute by minute: Hurricane Irma in Cuba

Sep 9, 2017 by

Minute by minute: Hurricane Irma in Cuba

Granma follows events as the dangerous meteorological phenomenon impacts Cuba

cono de probabilidades de irma

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17:40-. Radio 26 reports that some 80 amateur radio enthusiasts in the province of Matanzas are providing coverage of the hurricane and recover efforts. Some are located in difficult-to-access areas, such as close to damns, or zones at risk of coastal flooding.

Photo: Radio 26

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17:40-. At the Carlos Marx Vocational Pre-university Institute in Matanzas, food, energy, water supplies and health care have been guaranteed. This is one of the 40 centers in Matanzas territory providing shelter to evacuees. The municipalities of Matanzas, Cárdenas, Martí, Calimete and Colón have the highest reported number of evacuees.

Evacuees at the Carlos Marx Vocational Pre-university Institute in Matanzas. Photo: Radio 26

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17:30-. Most of the highways and streets in the coastal municipalities of Villa Clara have been obstructed by fallen trees and electric lines, reports our correspondent in that territory.

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17:20-.From Villa Clara, Granma’s correspondent reports severe damages to educational centres in the seven coastal municipalities: Caibarién, Remedios, Camajuaní, Encrucijada, Sagua la Grande, Quemado de Güines and Corralillo. Many schools lost their roofs, windows and elevated water tanks, according to Liem O’Farril provincial director of education.

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17:00-. According to reports from local paper Girón, there has been slight sea penetration in low-lying zones, and the overflowing of the rivers that cross the city of Matanzas. In order to avoid the possible risks that this situation may cause, the Civil Defense Council authorities have evacuated residents from the most vulnerable sites.

Photo: Courtesy of Girón

Photo: Courtesy of Girón

Photo: Courtesy of Girón

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16:50-. Lieutenant Colonel Mario García Salas, head of Civil Defense of the Havana Military Region, informed the press that the evacuation of residents of low-lying areas is already underway, with priority being given to those living in buildings in danger of collapse.

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16:40-.Radio Habana Cuba reports that the Havana Provincial Civil Defense Council has ordered the increase of measures to protect the population residing in areas prone to sea penetration, especially in areas of the Malecón, the municipality of Playa and Rincón de Guanabo, in Habana del Este.

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15:25-. Scenes from Havana, as Irma approaches:

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15:20-. The second head of the National Civil Defense General Staff warns that coastal flooding in the capital will be severe and will last for 36 hours.

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15:15-.Coronel Luis Ángel Macareño notes on Cuban television, that despite having reduced its intensity to Category 3, Irma continues to be a dangerous hurricane.

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15:10-. So far there have been no reports from the community of Emilio Córdova. The population of Pilón was totally evacuated yesterday afternoon. Although it has seen very strong winds, so far there is no indication of flooding in El Santo. Although they can not yet be accounted for, substantial losses are expected in rice production.

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15:05-. Andreda noted that so far there are numerous partial collapses of buildings, including state institutions and housing; while polyclinics, restaurants, food stores, and Bandec facilities have suffered damage. A total of 8,900 people have so far been evacuated to the homes of family or friends and educational institutions.

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15:00-. Mildre Andreda Manso, presidenta of the Encrucijada Municipal Defense Council, Villa Clara, reports that the city has been lashed throughout the day by gusts of hurricane force wind and intense rainfall.

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14:30-. The deputy minister assures that affected hotels in Holguín will be repaired in time for the high tourist season.

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14:30-. Deputy Tourism Minister, Luis Miguel Díaz Sánchez, is offering details of the damages to tourist facilities following Hurricane Irma on national television.

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cono de trayectoria

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14:00-. Irma’s rains have not reached Havana yet, but gusts of wind are beginning to be felt.
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13:55-. Sea penetration along Cienfuego’s Malecon.

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13:45-. Yosley Carrero reports that an estimated 10,000 residents from Linea Street to 23rd Street and the Malecón, Havana, could be affected by sea penetrations. Of these, 7,000 will be moved to shelters. Some 19 shelters have been set up in the municipality of Plaza de la Revolución, on higher ground. The rest of the population (3,000) residing in this area will self-evacuate to the homes of family or friends.

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13:40-. Eliane Taboas reports from Matanzas, noting the heavy rains. Irma is approaching the northern coast and poses danger to the cities of Matanzas, Cárdenas and Martí. In Colón, residents are feeling the ravages of rain and wind, as in Varadero with strong winds, waves and without electricity.

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13:30-. Images of Irma’s impact on Camagüey:
estragos de irma en camaguey
estragos de irma en camaguey

estragos de irma en camaguey

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13:10-.At any moment it should start raining hard in Havana. The Casa Blanca radar has detected the proximity of Irma’s outer bands, while the center of the hurricane remains more than 200 kilometers from the capital.

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13:00-. After declaring the Alert Phase for Pinar del Río, the Provincial Defense Council met to outline the measures to be carried out. The most worrying aspect for the territory is the soil saturation level, something that could favor flooding. The 24 damns across the province are at 83% capacity and 9 are overflowing.

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12:50-. Irma’s devastation in Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus:
Huracán Irma, Yaguajay Sancti Spíritus.

Huracán Irma, Yaguajay Sancti Spíritus.

efectos de irma en yaguajay

12:30-. From Cienfuegos we learned that heavy rains, winds and storm surges persist along the bay, and that the greatest impacts are expected at around 2:00 pm.

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12:20-. Irma is so extensive and strong that according to Freddy Ruiz, a specialist at the Sancti Spíritus Forecast Center, hurricane and tropical storm force winds have been recorded in practically the entire province, as reported by Reidel Gallo in the local newspaper Escambray.

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12:05-.The President of the Villa Clara Provincial Defense Council, Julio Lima Corzo, told Granma that there has been significant destruction in all the municipalities in the north of the province, and that the effects of Irma continue to be felt, with a complete assessment of the damages pending.

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12:00-. From Villa Clara, our correspondent reports that on talking to Juan Alberto González Milan, president of the Caibarién Municipal Defense Council, he learned that the municipality has seen gusts of wind of 200km/h. Sea penetrations have reached 500 meters. There are also reports of damage to the roofs of housing and state facilities, as well as buildings that have partially or completely collapsed. There are major damages to the electricity and communications networks. The northern keys have suffered significant infrastructure damages.

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11:50-. Photo of the Havana Malecon at the moment:
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11:40-. Sandra Cristina Hernández reports that the main AM radio transmissions tower of the CMHW station has collapsed, and adjustments are being made to ensure broadcasts over the 670 kHz frequency, so that the entire province can remain informed.

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11:35-.Photos of the neighborhood of Capiro, in Santa Clara, where strong winds are impacting on the city. Sandra Cristina Hernández, a journalist at Telecubanacán, Villa Clara, has reported on Facebook that zinc rooftops have been seen flying through the streets.

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

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11:30-.Images of Santa Lucía, Camagüey, published by the Cuban News Agency:

 

Photo: ACN

Photo: ACN

Photo: ACN

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11:20-. Journalist Lisandra López Pérez, who along with other reporters is in Cayo Coco, informed ACN via telephone that the winds tore away the upper section of the ETECSA communications tower, and there is currently no mobile telephone service, or radio and television transmissions, will landlines are experiencing partial interruptions.

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11:00-.Granma’s correspondent in Ciego de Ávila, speaking with Carlos Blanco Sánchez, director of the La Cuba agricultural enterprise, has reported significant losses to banana crops.

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10:55-. Impact of Irma in Esmeralda, Camagüey:

 

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

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10:45-. Impact of Irma in Camagüey:

Photo: Facebook

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10:40-.Lisandra Gómez, reports from Radio Sancti Spíritus that the municipality of Yaguajay is the most affected in the province, where gusts of over 200 km/h were recorded. Initial evaluations indicate that 40 % of dwellings have been damaged to some degree.

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10:20-.At 9:00am Ismet reported that the hurricane was located 35 kilometers northeast of Caibarién in Villa Clara and 160 kilometers southeast of Punta Hicacos, in Matanzas.

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10:15-.Ismet reports that over the last three hours the weather station in Nuevitas, Camagüey and Júcaro en Ciego de Ávila report precipitation of 142 and 110 mm, respectively. the station in the city of Holguín reports 208 mm over the last 24 hours.

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09:35-. Impact of Irma in Morón, Ciego de Ávila:

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

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09:25-.Strong gusts and steady rain is reported by ACN in Yaguajay.

Foto: ACN

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09:20-.Among the buildings damaged in Caibarién, Villa Clara are the movie theater, and cracker factory and winery. At dawn winds of 160 km/h wee being felt with gusts up to 250km/h.

Photo: Twitter

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09:10-. A Hurricane Alarm has been decreed for the provinces of Mayabeque, La Habana and Artemisa; Alert for Pinar del Río; and the Informative Phase for the Isle of Youth; while the rest of the country remains in the Alarm Phase.

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09:00-.Radio Cadena Agramonte, in Camagüey, reports electric company workers are ready to take action as soon as possible to restore power where service has been interrupted. Some 60 linemen and support personnel are organized in brigades which will travel Santa Lucía, Nuevitas, Sierra de Cubitas and Esmeralda, as soon as conditions permit.

Photo: Twitter

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Saturday 9

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13:08 -.Tropical storm winds could be felt by 8:00pm on barrier islands on the northern coast of Camagüey.

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13:08 -.At this time, Irma is moving west , and clouds have covered the entire island. the storm’s eye is located 300 km southeast of Cayo Coco, in the central province of Ciego de Avila. Given the direction the storm is taking, the northern part of Ciego de Ávila, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara could be directly impacted, according to meteorologist José Rubiera.

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13:05 -.The Defense Council in the town of Imais, in Guantanamo province, reported that a total of 15,446 people had been evacuated since yesterday, with 1,667 in the four shelters opened; 12,540 in the homes of friends and family; and 223 in alternate rural constructions.

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12:55 -.In a statement issued by Cubaminrex, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra, reiterated Cuba’s solidarity and support to Mexico and Guatemala, in the wake of a strong earthquake which occurred yesterday in these countries, causing significant human and material losses.

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12:50 -. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra expressed the country’s solidarity with Antigua and Barbuda, where Cuban health care professionals continue to provide their services and are contributing to recovery efforts.

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12:20 -.This morning, the Venezuelan government sent 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Antigua and Barbuda, where Irma caused severe damage during the dawn hours Wednesday.

Photo: telesurtv.net

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11:40 -.An Alarm Phase has been declared for the provinces of Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus, Cienfuegos and Matanzas; an Alert for Mayabeque, La Habana and Artemisa; and the Informative Phase for Pinar del Río, as of 10:00am. Other provinces already in the Alarm Phase remain so, while residents in the Isle of Youth were called upon to remain attentive to information released.

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11:30 -.Since 7:00 am this morning, Punta de Maisí on the island’s easternmost tip has experienced heavy rain with winds up to 60 kilometers per hour, and waves more than four meters high. Thus far, a total of 47 millimeters of precipitation have been recorded.

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11:25 -.Pinar del Río reports that the first group of electrical engineers and technicians have departed this western province this morning, to be ready to join recovery efforts in the center of the island, following the impact of Hurricane Irma expected in this region.

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11:20 -.According to information provided to Granma by Nersys Sarmiento, vice president of the Municipal Defense Council, and head of civil defense in the city of Gibara, there are at this time 43,610 persons in shelters, more than half of the population.

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10:55 -.This Friday morning in the city of Guantánamo, where residents are experiencing light rain associated with Hurricane Irma. Photo: Radio Guantánamo

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10:45 -. Reported at this time are a total of 19 deaths across the Caribbean: nine in the French islands of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint Martin, one in the Dutch portion of Saint Martin, four in the British Virgin Islands, three in Puerto Rico, one in Barbuda, and one in Anguilla.

Photo: AP

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10:20 -. Measures are being adopted in Santiago de Cuba to ensure that, despite any effects from the hurricane, health service are available, including the admission to hospitals of pregnant women close to term or at risk, and preparation of the ambulance system in case the population needs emergency care.

Photo: Sierra Maestra

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9:55 -.Agricultural workers in the province of Santiago de Cuba protecting food supplies and cattle by accelerating harvests and delivering produce to the state wholesaler to distribute to the population.

Photo: Sierra Maestra

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9:45 -.A view of the waterfront in Baracoa, Guantánamo, early on September 8, as hurricane Irma approaches the northern coastline of Cuba. Photo: ACN

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