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  • Strong waves hit the northern coast of Havana, Cuba, Dec. 21, 2018.

    Strong waves hit the northern coast of Havana, Cuba, Dec. 21, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 December 2018

The storm is due to an 'extratropical storm' that caused sustained winds of up to 22 miles per hour with maximum gusts of up to 57 miles per hour.

Strong winds and intense swells associated with a storm, which formed in Texas and moved towards the Gulf of Mexico Friday, left floods in Havana and the coastlines of western Cuba.

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Despite the sun and clear skies in Havana, waves of four and five meters broke in the city's pier, and the sea advanced hundreds of meters inland in the neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar, where electricity was interrupted.

The storm is due to an 'extratropical storm' that caused sustained winds of up to 22 miles per hour with maximum gusts of up to 57 miles per hour, according to the Cuban Institute of Meteorology (Insmet).

Several low-lying communities were evacuated

Cuban authorities activated the country's early warning system in a timely manner, requesting that residents in areas prone to flooding exercise caution and take preventive measures in buildings.

"The north coast of Western Cuba affected by coastal floods. Havana's downtown streets are under water. The Paseo del Prado, which is flooded by water near the Malecon, has been blocked for hours."

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez, shared images on Twitter showing water from the sea covering the entrances to the Chancellery headquarters,  that is located some meters from the pier.

"The penetration of the sea has reached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the moment there are no damages, all the preventive measures were taken, a group of our workers remains in the center and is helping the neighbors," Rodriguez wrote.

So far, no victims have been reported.

Flooding on the northern and southern coasts of the island persisted into late Friday. According to the Insmet forecast, sea water should begin to gradually withdraw on Saturday.

Havana suffered the effects of another major disaster, in Sep. 2017, when Hurricane Irma caused flooding to the capital's boardwalk and large portions of downtown's neighborhoods, and El Vedado, causing significant damage.

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