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Authorities in Havana report 61 landslides, severe flooding in 23 neighborhoods and failures in 24 electrical circuits.
Rainfall affecting western and central Cuba, which on Friday fluctuated between heavy and intense, caused the death of three people, two in the capital, Havana, and one in the province of Pinar del Río (west).
The coordinator of programs of the Government of Havana, Orestes Llanes Mestre, reported two deaths in the capital, one as a result of a landslide and the other due to an accident.
The government of the province of Pinar de Río reported that on Friday afternoon the lifeless body of a person who had fallen into a stream in the morning was found. They also reported the disappearance of another person in the municipality of Minas de Matahambre.
#Cuba: Se prevé continúen este sábado intensas lluvias, tormentas eléctricas y tornados de las últimas 24 horas en el occidente y centro de La Isla. Tres personas han fallecido y una está desaparecida. Pdte @DiazCanelB chequeó la situación meteorológica desde @CubaCivil �� Redes pic.twitter.com/jGQIJeRnCf
Heavy rains, electrical storms and tornadoes of the last 24 hours are expected to continue this Saturday in the west and center of the Island. Three people have died and one is missing. Pdte @DiazCanelBchecked the weather situation from @CubaCivil Networks
According to the Cuban Institute of Meteorology, from 08H00 this Thursday until 14H00 local time this Friday, 16 meteorological stations registered accumulated rainfall above 100 millimeters, and three of them were above 200 millimeters.
In Pinar del Río, the westernmost province affected by the rains, 4,000 people are reported to be sheltered in 31 evacuation centers and homes of relatives and friends.
The overflowing of rivers caused several localities in the westernmost part of that territory to be cut off by road.
Llanes Mestre said that up to 6:00 p.m. local time on Friday there had been 61 landslides, one of them total, and severe flooding was recorded in 23 neighborhoods in the capital, among which El Fanguito and Pontón neighborhoods were particularly affected.
There were also failures in 24 electrical circuits. He specified that the latter left nearly 50,000 customers without electricity, although the recovery works of the last hours allowed to reduce the number of affected to 14,000.
The director of Networks of the National Electric Union, Eleazar Moreno, detailed that most of the failures occurred in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Havana, Matanzas and Villa Clara, and were caused by rains and strong gusts of wind.
In statements to local television, meteorologist José Rubiera said that these rains are associated with a low pressure area that moves along the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico.
He explained that this is a system with little chance of development, whose greatest potential danger is rainfall to the right of its path. He said that once it moves more to the northeast, in the direction of the Florida peninsula (USA), it will acquire greater speed of translation and will drag with it abundant rain.
He warned that there is a lot of cloudiness to the south of Cuba and it may increase during the night of Friday to Saturday, so more rainfall can be expected during the next hours. He added that the rains could be heavy until midday this Saturday and will begin to diminish thereafter.
Lluvia sobre lluvias. La naturaleza nos pone otra prueba. Con organización, disciplina y solidaridad, podremos vencer juntos el examen. No olvidemos la escuela de #Fidel: cada desafío es una oportunidad. pic.twitter.com/k9IFnbvLxu
Rain on rain. Nature gives us another test. With organization, discipline and solidarity, we will be able to overcome the exam together. Let's not forget the school of #Fidel : every challenge is an opportunity.
The head of the Department of Disaster Reduction of the Civil Defense, lieutenant colonel Gloria Gely Martínez, described this event as the first episode of the current hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
She urged the population to keep informed through the media and local authorities, and not to go to reservoirs, avoid riverbeds, not to touch downed power lines and not to incur in other acts of negligence that may affect life.