Caribbean: Hurricane Dennis OCHA Situation Report No. 5

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/00102

OCHA Situation Report No. 5
Hurricane Dennis - Cuba
11 July 2005

This report is based on information provided by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cuba.


1. Between 7-9 July, Hurricane Dennis, classified as a category IV event, has devastated some 600 km of territory in Cuba, triggering a serious sea surge, flooding, landslides and heavy rains. The maximum sustained winds reached above 200 km/PH with extreme gusts.

2. According to the UN Resident Coordinator's office in Havana, Hurricane Dennis has caused extensive damage in 11 provinces, affecting some 8 million persons, out of the total population of 11.1 million, rendering this one of the most devastating natural phenomena affecting the country in the last decades.

3. The most affected areas are: Guamà, II and III Frente in Santiago de Cuba province, Pilon, Niquero, Media Luna, Campechuela and Manzanillo in Granma province, Santacruz del Sur, and Vertientes in Camaguey province, Trinidad, Tunas de Zaza y Mèdano in Sancti Spiritus province, Manicaragua in Vila Clara province and all municipalities in Cienfuegos province, Cienaga de Zapata and Jaguey Grande in Matanzas province.

4. According to official figures received from the National Civil Defense, 10 persons have been killed, while 1,535,545 have been evacuated, of which 129,626 were students and 16,873 tourists. Major damages are reported in the housing, agriculture electricity, water supply, telecommunication and transportation sectors.

5. A preliminary assessment of the National Civil Defense indicates that 46,318 houses were damaged. 14,617 houses suffered total destruction, of which 6,327 collapsed and 8,290 with destroyed roofs. Consequently 73,000 persons are left homeless and 158,500 persons are without adequate shelter as the roofs of their homes were completely destroyed.


6. Housing

Cienfuegos Province

Total houses affected: 11, 163

Total collapse: 1, 092

Partial collapse: 2, 146

La Habana Province

Total house affected: 4, 165

Total collapse: 73

Partial collapse: 269

Ciudad de la Habana Province

Total houses affected: 334

Total collapse: 0

Partial collapse: 7

Matanzas Province

Total houses affected: 3, 284

Total collapse: 193

Partial collapse: 325

Sancti Spiritus Province

Total houses affected: 1, 777

Total collapse: 278

Partial collapse: 1, 499

Ciego de Avila Province

Total houses affected: 1, 069

Total collapse: 17

Partial collapse: 30

Camaguey Province

Total houses affected: 5, 436

Total collapse: 172

Partial collapse: 512

Santiago de Cuba Province

Total houses affected: 4, 090

Total collapse: 502

Partial collapse: 1, 000

7. Agriculture

In the provinces of Villa Clara and Cienfugos, the mango, papaya, orange and banana as well as the irrigation systems, suffered considerable damage. In Granma Province several thousands hectares of grains, cabbages and corn were destroyed.

8. Water supply

In Granma Province 70% of the water supply is contaminated. The provincial authorities have organized an emergency distribution of water.

9. Transportation

The principal road connecting the Provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Granma has been blocked due to a collapsed bridge.

10. Communications

The telephone lines in 28 locations in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Matanzas are interrupted.


11. The national authorities mobilized 140,000 persons and 4,348 transportation means and public works machinery to face the hurricane's consequences and to assist in evacuation of more than 1.5 million persons.

12. The Government activated 978 food distribution centers and 1,804 emergency shelters, of which 805 in the schools. All houses are currently evaluated in terms of safety for returnees. Priority attention is also required for sanitation requirements. 42 out of 53 major food shops were evacuated and 478,053 animals have been relocated to safe areas.


13. The UN Resident Coordinator's Office and the National Civil Defense Office have established a coordination and information mechanism to facilitate coordination of disaster response activities and information flow.

14. The same office convened several coordination and information meetings with all UN agencies, NGOs, cooperation agencies and foreign embassies.

15. Following the request of the UN Resident Coordinator UN-OCHA has released USD 50,000 for emergency response coordination and purchase of relief items.

16. OCHA remains in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Offices in Cuba and will continue reporting as further information is made available.

17. For tracking and further information, please refer to the Website of the National Hurricane Service in Miami at, and

18. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

MAP: Tropical storm Dennis warning map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Dusan Zupka, Ms.Charlotta Benedek
direct Tel. +41-22-917 16 45, 917 1205

Press contact:

(in GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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