Hurricane Ike

More than 74,600 houses have been recovered to date in Las Tunas from the 80,586 affected during the passage of Hurricane Ike through this eastern province, 12 years ago today. 

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Eliset Izquierdo Pino, technical deputy director of Housing in the territory, told the Cuban News Agency that more than 5,900 homes are still without a solution, although she highlighted that the 1,855 of typology one (concrete slab roof ) affected by the meteorological event were completely resolved.

She explained that after the onslaught of the natural phenomenon, the hardest-hit municipalities were Manatí, “Jesús Menéndez” and Puerto Padre, to the north, with 46,934 homes with damages of some kind, which represents more than 50 percent of the affected housing fund.

Currently, of these three districts, more than 4,700 homes remain without remedying their situation, which constitutes 75 percent of the buildings that are still in similar conditions of those damaged in 2008, when the event hit the country, she asserted.

The deputy director stressed that annually the number of households pending resolution in the municipalities is reviewed and, taking into account their production capacity, the figure to be resolved is determined.
Izquierdo Pino affirmed that 2020 has been atypical due to the limitations imposed by the period of confrontation with Covid-19, and the scarce allocation of resources, such as cement, influence the delay reported in the plan, which at the end of the month of August was 56 percent of the scheduled.

Blanca Estela López Morales, who lives in a tenement located in the center of Manatí, affirmed that her home suffered total damage to the roof, which left eight other families living in the place out in the open; but after a week of “Ike” passage, the pertinent organisms gave to the neighbors the zinc tiles and the rest of the necessary materials for the restoration of the dwellings of these nine families, who collaborated in the execution of the work.

Eddy Góngora Torres, a resident of the town of Vázquez, in Puerto Padre, tells a different story, who pointed out that his house was one of the totals collapses reported and for almost 12 years he waited for it to be finished, which happened in June this year.

He explained that most of that time he and the other four members of his family lived in a temporary facility, a period that was very difficult because the place did not have the necessary conditions. But the long wait was rewarded with a comfortable home.

Hurricane Ike affected Las Tunas in the early morning of September 8, 2008, traveled through the province as category three on the Saffir-Simpson scale and left the worst damage reported to the housing fund in the history of the territory, with more than 13 thousand total collapses and 66 thousand partial between roofs and buildings of type one.

The damages caused by this hurricane were joined by those of “Paloma,” in November of the same year; "Irma," in 2007; and "Laura" last August, although to a lesser extent.

It is the policy of the country, as the President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed in the balance sheet to analyze the damages of "Laura" in the east and center of the Island, to work with agility to avoid that the damaged houses are added to those of previous years.