Andrew Atkinson, who visited Havana and Varadero, Cuba, in 2015, updates his report in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Tragically 10 people have died in Cuba as a result of Hurricane Irma – seven in Havana – including 89-year-old Nieves Martínez Burgaleta, who resided in old Havana, whose body was found floating outside her front door.
In the district of Centro Habana, Yolendis Castillo and Maria del Carmen Arregoitia, both aged 27, died when a fourth floor balcony collapsed on a bus in which they were travelling.
There is widespread damage to Varadero, Cuba’s main beach resort, and Havana, where I visited in 2015. After Hurricane Irma hit the capital Havana buildings collapsed, along with wide-spread flooding.
Devastation struck as Hurricane Irma passed over the north of the Caribbean island over the weekend.
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cuba late on Friday – as a Category 5 storm – with winds of 125 mph, it being recorded as the greatest hurricane ever to have formed in the Atlantic.
Hurricane Irma lead to waves crashing over the seawall of the Malecon, Havana’s waterfront boulevard, where I walked two years ago.
Floods hit the district’s art deco and modernist buildings, with ground floor apartments and possessions ruined.
In a statement Cuba’s President Raul Castro said: “In these difficult circumstances, of greatest importance is the unity between Cubans.
“The solidarity between neighbours, and the discipline before the instructions emitted by the National Civil Defence and the Defence Council at every level.”
Havana remains a city still without power and under water, suffering severe flooding and widespread wind damage, witnessed by people who ventured out as floodwaters receded