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Mass Evacuations as Extreme Rain Event Batters Cuba

Posted by feww on May 27, 2012

Central Cuba has received record 900mm of rain this month

A record rainfall of at least 900mm (35.4in) in Sancti Spiritus province so far this month has prompted mass evacuations of more than 8,500 people. Two people were reportedly killed after the intense downpour flooded Zaza valley.

Residents downstream from the Río Zaza reservoir, Cuba’s largest, were forced to evacuate after torrential rains forced the authorities to open the floodgates to open, said a report.

The reservoir, located about 350 km east of Havana, held about “200 million cubic meters as recently as May 22, after months of drought. In what experts say is a 40-year record, heavy rains throughout central Cuba raised the Zaza reservoir’s water level beyond 1 billion cubic meters in a matter of 48 hours.”

The Zaza reservoir provides 17 percent of Cuba’s sweet water fish supply, the report said.

The downpour is will continue in central provinces, and could spread to the west, said the National Meteorology Institute.

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