In six weeks of hard work due to the magnitude of the devastation left by Hurricane Ian, the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio has managed to restore services, mainly electricity, although impact problems such as housing remain.Important resources and forces from the remaining provinces, as well as supplies from international solidarity, are being allocated to solve the destruction of buildings and the electric power supply.
Soon, one thousand stoves donated by sectors in Mexico will arrive to the westernmost province of Cuba and the most shaken by Hurricane Ian.
The people of Pinar del Río are grateful for these gestures and those of their compatriots who remain in the territory strongly hit by the winds.
They have been separated from their families for a long time, but they know that with the country’s contributions, Pinar del Río will advance faster in the complex return to normality.
Precisely, electricity reaches almost 99 percent of the customers in the territory, with lower rates in the municipalities of San Luis and San Juan y Martínez, two of the hardest hit.
While the workers of the electric branch struggle, others from the Hydraulic Resources Department work in areas that, as in the provincial capital, show long water supply cycles.
It also demands the hauling of allocations and the organization of the repair of houses whose roofs were partially damaged, the first objective to attend later to the total collapses.
Pinar del Río reported 106,000 damages to its houses, in addition to thousands of cases pending to be resolved due to the passage of previous hurricanes.
A feverish counting of the damages detailed by the families in the offices set up for this purpose is underway, while construction elements supplied by other provinces are coming in.
Some people were delayed in obtaining all the necessary materials and were prevented from starting their work, but they hope to find the desired coverage in the near future.
Promising estimates refer to a remarkable progress in housing in Pinar del Río before the end of the first semester of next year and a strategy is being discussed to raise in five years the homes collapsed by Ian as well as those pending from previous cyclones.
It is true that Cuba’s material situation is thorny due to the financial shortages derived from the U.S. blockade and the substantial investments to face COVID-19, but there is a search for answers for all the victims.
Autor: Roberto Morejón / Editor: Ed Newman