possible damages caused by Elsa

Fidel Rendón Matienzo

Translated by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.

Havana, Jul 6 (ACN)

Last night, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, president of the Provincial Defense Council, called on the people of the capital to remain vigilant, disciplined and attentive to the guidelines of the Civil Defense, in order to begin immediate recovery in the event of damage caused by tropical storm Elsa.

After touring the coastal municipalities of Habana del Este, Centro Habana, Habana Vieja and Plaza de la Revolución, together with Reynaldo García Zapata, vice president of that leadership body, in statements to Cuban Television he mentioned as priorities of the moment to go out to produce and provide services, and to continue fighting to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Torres Iríbar stressed that the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel, indicated that the “Tornado” method should be applied to the damages in housing and social entities: to start immediately the recovery and not to stop until the constructions are done.

And I believe that this method (whose name recalls the tornado that hit the Cuban capital on January 27, 2019) generates confidence in our people and, therefore, I ask you to act with responsibility, discipline and enthusiasm, so that from this Tuesday we can go out to face the three major tasks mentioned, he said.

He reiterated that in the face of Elsa’s threat, the protection of the population, to avoid loss of human lives, has been the main concern, and even though it has been insisted that most of the possible evacuees should be protected in the homes of relatives or friends, conditions were created so that some 170 thousand people could evacuate and be in good shelter.

The first secretary of the PCC in Havana pointed out that in this sense, it was evaluated how to protect those who live in critical buildings or houses, something that worries the country’s leadership and the people of Havana.

We know, for example, that in the municipality of Old Havana there are more than 600 buildings with a complex structural situation, she said.

He stressed that although Elsa did not bring hurricane winds and the penetration of the sea in the capital was much less than expected, it is predicted that after its departure from the national territory, heavy rains will be felt; and we all know that these cause damage to these buildings, such as collapses, roof damage and leaks, he said.

The president of the Provincial Defense Council highlighted the response capacity of the institutions and the population to take good care of the material resources, especially due to the difficulties and economic limitations that Cuba is going through, and that is why they have tried to avoid any loss due to other causes not related to the tropical storm.

He explained that in order to have the least possible impact, it was decided to suspend on Monday those activities not related to the feeding of the people and others that were not vital, and since two or three o’clock in the afternoon there were hardly any vehicles and people on the streets.

People isolated themselves, went home and that is an attitude of the people of Havana worthy of recognition, and that is what Díaz-Canel and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero did, he said.

Torres Iríbar stressed that in the midst of the preparations for the threat of tropical storm Elsa, it was ensured that the people suspected or positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19, admitted to the isolation centers due to the pandemic received the corresponding care.

This Monday, in addition to pointing out the measures taken by the Civil Defense due to the meteorological phenomenon, we also discussed the fight against the pandemic, he said.

According to Torres Iríbar, the responsible action, the fulfillment of the measures, together with the vaccination process, should lead the capital to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 and to guarantee in a new stage the improvement, the tranquility; and that sooner than later we can enjoy a normality, even if it is different, he said.


By US-Cuba Normalization Committee

Organizing Committee, International and Nationwide Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations.