The torrential rains in western Cuba over the past week caused "severe losses" to agriculture and damaged more than 1,900 homes in Pinar del Rio province, the hardest hit by the storm, official media said Saturday.
Though authorities have not yet reported the total amount of damage, the local press estimated Saturday that more than 1,900 homes were damaged and another 437 are still underwater, while more than 2,600 people remain evacuated because of the floods.
Corn, sweet potato, cassava, melon and cucumber crops suffered the principal losses, though still not quantified, while tobacco crops seem to have had no outright losses but have suffered "the ill effects of excess dampness," according to the state-run National News Agency.
Growers in Cuba's so-called land of tobacco, Pinar del Rio, fear that over 13,000 tons of the leaf could be lost to damage from the humidity and the possible collapse of storehouses where the tobacco is dried.
Authorities of the province, located on the extreme west end of the island, called for immediate "recovery" action and eliminated the "alarm" phase established Wednesday due to the intensity of the rains that began last week as part of a wide low-pressure area over the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
The downpours, which were later associated with the path of Tropical Storm Andrea to Florida, left an accumulated 422 millimeters (17 inches) of rain in six days, 188 percent more than the historical average of rainfall during the month of June in the region.
Meanwhile dams in the province showed a rise in water level from 50 percent to 85 percent of capacity after the rains.
Cuban media said this Saturday that there are no longer areas left incommunicado by the floods, and a large number of the more than 600 electrical outages reported have been fixed.
Besides Pinar del Rio, rainstorms affected the western provinces of Artemisa, Mayabeque and La Habana. EFE