Over 20,000 evacuated in Cuba due to tropical storm
Published August 26, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac caused the evacuations of more than 20,000 people
in Cuba, as well as minor flooding in coastal areas, overflowing rivers,
power outages and damage to homes while it moved over the waters north
of the island en route to Florida, state media reported Sunday.
In the eastern province of Holguin, which Isaac deluged on Saturday
afternoon, 20,312 people left their homes to take shelter with relatives
and 382 people had been evacuated and were being housed in official
This is the largest number of displaced people in Cuba due to the
gusting winds and torrential rains associated with the storm.
The eastern provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Las
Tunas, Holguin and Camaguey, which comprise almost half the country's
territory, were on storm alert when Isaac arrived.
Isaac made landfall in Cuba on Saturday at the southern town of Imias,
in Guantanamo province, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Punta de
Maisi, in the far eastern part of the island.
In Baracoa, a coastal town in Guantanamo prone to flooding, more than
2,000 people had to abandon their homes, a situation that also occurred
to a greater or lesser extent in Granma, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila.
Many of the evacuees were domestic tourists who had to break off their
summer vacations early to return to their homes from coastal resort areas.
In addition to the forced population flows, in Baracoa 23 houses
collapsed, and four of them were total losses, and banana and fruit
crops were damaged. There was also an eight-hour power outage there.
Other damage, mainly downed power lines and the like, occurred in the
towns of Gibara, Sagua de Tanamo and Rafael Freyre, all of which are in
Holguin's coastal area.
During the morning, the heavy rains continued to fall in the east and
the latest bulletin from the Cuban weather service said that that would
be the case across most of the country all day Sunday.
So far, no fatalities from Isaac, which is moving toward the northwest,
have been reported in Cuba.
On Sunday afternoon, heavy rains will continue to fall nationwide,
although the downpours will gradually diminish, Cuban weather service
Forecast Center chief Jose Rubiera said.
The threat remains of "light to moderate" coastal flooding in the south
central and northwest coastal - where Havana is located - parts of the
country, Rubiera said. EFE