Cuba: Emergency Response to Floods in Sancti Spíritus-No.RRF 9/2018

As of 25 May 2018, sub-tropical storm Alberto, with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hour, passed over Cuba and brought torrential rainfalls (4 inches of water in 24 hours) causing overflowing of rivers and streams. According to the Ministry of Interior, flood waters swept away a bridge and damaged roads and other infrastructure, leaving many communities cut off and nearly 60,000 people without electricity. More than 52,000 Cubans have been evacuated in the affected area.  11 people reported were dead, and 2 disappeared respectively across the affected territories.  Approximately 1,384 homes were affected, with 174 totally collapsed.

An oil spill – which is now under control – was caused by heavy flooding at one of the nation’s main oil refineries in Cienfuegos. It has been controlled by local authorities. There has also been substantial damage in the agricultural sector, with crops such as rice, beans, tobacco and bananas particularly affected.  Concerns have also been raised about possible waterborne disease outbreaks.

Cuban Council of Churches (CIC) has submitted a Rapid Response Fund Proposal to support 650 households with food security.