A. Situation Analysis
Description of the Disaster
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cuba as the first category 5 hurricanes since 1924, with sustained winds of up to 270 km/h from 8 to 10 September 2017. The cyclonic storm surge caused by heavy rains penetrated almost two km inland, which led to severe flooding in parts of the country. In anticipation of the impact, local authorities evacuated nearly a million people as a preventive measure, which contributed to limiting the loss of life - ten deaths reported.
According to posterior assessments, the strong winds, heavy rains, and resulting coastal flooding affected 158,554 dwellings (14,657 destroyed, 16,646 partially damaged, 23,560 lost roofs and 103,691 suffered damage to roofs). Also, the hurricane damaged 980 health institutions, 2,264 educational centres, 466 poultry farms and 95,000 hectares of cultivated land, as well as telecommunications systems (246,707 landlines and 1,471 data points) and 537 km of roads. At least 3,100,000 people were left with no electricity and water at the beginning of this event.
Hurricane Irma caused a total of 13,500 million Cuban pesos (500,772,288 CHF) in damages, the costliest cyclonic event in Cuba's history.