Díaz-Canel: Everything Recovered Has to Be Better

Havana: “We have to work with the concept we have been defending that everything that recovers has to be better than it was before”, said the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, when evaluating this Tuesday, from the Palace of the Revolution, the preliminary damage caused by tropical storm Laura, which had an impact on almost the entire Cuban archipelago, Cubadebate publishes.

At the meeting of the Economic-Social Organ of the National Defense Council – the third of its kind convened as a result of the passing of the climatological event through the nation, led by the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz – the Head of State stressed that, although it did not reach the magnitude of damages that we expected, “we do have a group of damages that are not to be underestimated.”

After listening to the explanation about the situation of the provinces, in the voice of the governors, as well as the sectors of the economy, by the members of the Council of Ministers, the president pointed out that “there are more than two thousand damaged homes, so they give the accounts of what has been reported today, which is not yet the final number.

As we have seen, he said, the homes that were affected are those that were in very bad condition. “To the extent that we can replace them with others with greater strength, the impact of this type of event will be less. We are also paying the consequences of the problems we have with the housing fund”, he said.

There are also effects, he specified, in agriculture and in the electricity service that has not yet recovered in a significant percentage in the country, which also causes interruptions in communications and in the supply of water, fundamentally. “Therefore, all of this requires working quickly”, the President of the Republic stressed.

As confirmed by the Chief of the National Civil Defense Staff, Major General Ramón Pardo Guerra, tropical storm Laura is no longer a danger to Cuba and all the provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud are in the recovery phase. As a consequence of its passage through the south of the country, 435 thousand people were protected; 33,200 in evacuation centers, the rest in the homes of family and friends. At the time of the meeting, a small number remained evacuated.

In the exchange with the governors and ministers, it was confirmed that the most substantial damages are accounted for in the electrical system, in which 1,157 megawatts were affected, which must be restored, in essence, this Wednesday, according to the Minister of Energy and Minas, Liván Arronte Cruz. The most affected provinces are Pinar del Río and Santiago de Cuba, however there were damages throughout the country.

In the case of housing, the greatest damages are on the roofs; some total collapses have also been certified. These figures are being evaluated by technical teams in the territories, although the decision has already been made to release the inventories of construction materials to begin recovery as soon as possible.

Agricultural specialists also need the data, but it is determined that the crops that suffered the most as a result of the winds of Tropical Storm Laura were bananas, cassava and corn, mainly in the provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque. These products are being harvested with agility to be sold to the population.

Regarding the impact of the rains, it was known in the meeting that in 81 reservoirs of the country there was an increase in the level and, in general, the dams were increased by 200 million cubic meters of water, which favored Santiago, Guantánamo, Pinar del Río and Granma.

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