Cuba: Hurricane Irma - Emergency Appeal n° MDRCU004 6-month operations update



Description of the disaster

Less than a year after Hurricane Mathew struck Cuba, Hurricane Irma impacted the country from 8 to 10 September. Reports indicated that Hurricane Irma’s strong winds, heavy rainfall and the resulting coastal flooding affected 158,554 houses (14,657 destroyed, 16,646 partially damaged, 23,560 homes lost their roofs and 103,691 homes suffered damage to their roof); additionally, the hurricane damaged approximately 980 health institutions, 2,264 education centres466 poultry farms and 95,000 hectares of various crops. Hurricane Irma also impacted telecommunication systems (246,707 fixed telephony service and 1,471 data points) and 537 km of roads. At the onset of the emergency, at least 3,100,000 were without electricity and water. Total damages caused by Hurricane Irma amounted to 13.5 billion thousand Cuban pesos (CHF 500,772,288).

Due to the great impact on the housing sector, the ARC has supported families who lost their homes or who suffered damage to both the roof and the structure of their houses and remain in collective centres.


Major damages were reported in the municipalities of Esmeralda, Sierra de Cubitas, Minas and Nuevitas in Camaguey province. Additionally, 50 coastal and agricultural communities were affected. The provincial and municipal authorities mobilized resources and teams to carry out cleaning, recovery, sanitation, clearing of roads and the restoration of communications and the electrical and water supply.

• Of the 158,110 people evacuated, 59,920 people remain in collective centres.
• Electricity has been fully restored
• 100 per cent of the 121 affected food facilities have been repaired
• 85 per cent of the 297 schools have been repaired
• 199 damaged aqueducts have been repaired
• 43 per cent of the 43,689 affected houses have been repaired
• 5 out of 7 sugar plants have been repaired
• T ourism infrastructure has been repaired
• 7,303 hectares out of the 11,486 affected hectares have been replanted
• 95 per cent of damaged health centres have been repaired


Along with Camaguey, Matanzas was the most affected northern province. The Central Thermoelectric plant’s electrical supply has been completely restored, and it is now providing electricity nationally.

• 90 per cent of the 80,000 people that were evacuated sought shelter with family and friends. Currently there are no active state collective centres.
• Approximately 50 per cent of the 6,256 affected houses have been repaired
• 120 out of the 126 affected schools have been repaired
• A construction materials company has provided cement blocks, slabs, beans, water tanks and tiles to the reconstruction efforts

Ciego de Ávila:

The most affected southern province was mainly impacted in the municipalities of Bolivia, Primero de Enero, Morón and Chambas.

• 8,750 of the target of 31,540 affected houses have been reached
• Sugar production has not resumed.
• 85 per cent of the affected 288 schools have been repaired
• 80 per cent of the 174 health centres have been repaired
• Trade is operating at 73 per cent of its pre-Hurricane Irma level
• The hurricane severely affected, tourism, one of the main income-generating industries in this area; however, 18 damaged hotels in Jardines del Rey have been repaired.

Villa Clara:

A total of 246,000 people was evacuated from the Villa Clara province. The most affected municipalities were Emilio Cordova, Encrujicada, Aguada de Moya, Camajuaní, Isabela de Sagua, Nueva Isabela, Caharatas, Quemado de Güines, La Panchita and Corralillo.

• 30 per cent of the 51,577 affected houses have been repaired
• 79 per cent of health services have been restored, with a total of 267 health centres repaired
• 76 per cent of the repair work on the 414 affected schools has been completed
• 47 affected bridges have been repaired, and road repairs are ongoing.

La Habana:

Havana was the most affected city in the province due to coastal floods; other affected municipalities were Playa, Diez de Octubre, San Miguel del Padrón, Centro Habana and Cotorro. Most rehabilitation efforts were focused on restoring electricity and water services for the 2 million people living in the capital city.

• 4,083 houses were affected
• 89.4 per cent of the affected school centres have been repaired (516 schools)
• 100 per cent of affected health centres have been restored (77 health centres)
• The water supply has been restored with a total of 204 pumping stations and 68 chlorination stations now functional


• There are more than 260 coastal settlements, of which 120 are in high-risk areas and were affected by hurricane Irma.
• 95 per cent of school centres have been repaired, and 73 per cent of affected houses are in the process of being repaired.

Las Tunas:

• The most affected municipalities in the province were Jesus Menendez, Puerto Padre and Manati.
• Of the 4,258 affected houses, 2,513 houses have been repaired (59 per cent).