Cuban President urges greater speed in hurricane recovery

Havana, Feb 5.- Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has urged to speed up recovery in the territories affected by Hurricane Ian, which hit western Cuba in September 2022.
The Presidency Press Office reported this Saturday that during a meeting to assess the progress of the recovery with the governors of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, Havana and Mayabeque, the Head of State pointed to shortage of materials and subjective causes as difficulties slowing down recovery work.

In Pinar del Rio, the province hardest hit by the hurricane, despite efforts made, 18 water supply sources are still paralyzed.In agriculture, actions continue to recover facilities, among which the priority is the tobacco houses, of which more than 1,700 are being restored.

The greatest challenge in this territory is in housing recovery, in which restoration is at 21 percent, although progress has been made in the reopening of 245 schools, 132 health facilities and 352 commercial centers. Over 80,000 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged by Ian.

Among the possible causes of the delays, Diaz-Canel pointed out that the necessary materials are not available in the territory and that more than 2,000 people who already have the resources have not yet begun restoration work.

The president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, Antonio Rodriguez, said that Pinar del Rio still does not have all the necessary pumping equipment, but this year the situation with the water supply to the population will become more stable.

He added that as far as Cuba is concerned, this projection will mean that about 40 percent of the country’s pumping equipment will be replaced, for which the necessary financing is available. Last September 27, Hurricane Ian, a category three hurricane, hit western Cuba causing heavy material losses mainly in housing, agriculture, electricity and telecommunications.

(Taken from Prensa Latina)