12/02/13 - Latin American Herald Tribune - Downpours in Havana Collapse 49 Buildings
HAVANA - The torrential rainstorm that on the weekend lashed the northern
coast of western and central Cuba caused at least 49 buildings to partially
or fully collapse in the capital and forced the evacuation of more than 400
families, local media reported on Sunday.
The bad weather on Friday and Saturday severely affected Havana and set a
new 24-hour rainfall record for the month of November - the previous record
was set in 1909 - with the Casablanca meteorological station recording
228.3 millimeters (8.99 inches) of rain between Friday and Saturday
By Saturday afternoon, 49 building collapses - eight of them complete
collapses - had been reported in the capital, according to the official
daily Juventud Rebelde.
On Saturday, it was learned that two people had died in one of those
The provincial Government Defense Council vice president, Juan Montalvo,
warned that when the rains end buildings weakened by the water tend to
collapse and he called for more preventive measures in homes and the most
prone areas to such damage.
According to the latest bulletins issued by Insmet, the island's weather
forecasting center, the rains began to lessen on Saturday afternoon.
Nevertheless, the government's Special Warning No. 6 did not rule out that
intense squalls and downpours could continue across the region periodically
The storm was caused by an almost stationary cold front positioned over
northern Cuba and the northeast wind that carried clouds and rain over the
island from the Atlantic.
The cold front remained stuck over Havana for about 36 hours, although it
drifted slightly over the country's western and central zone, authorities
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