Hurricane Irma Flattens Cuba’s Crumbling Infrastructure

hurricane irma

Between Hurricane Irma and Harvey, September 2017 has not been kind in terms of the weather here in the U.S.  But it could always be worse.  At the time of this writing, reports are starting to emerge from Cuba that some local residents could be out of power for a whopping 6 months thanks to Hurricane Irma.

Cuba Sees the Wraith of Hurricane Irma

The storm hit Cuba as a category 5 hurricane, which is absolutely frightening.  All told, at least 10 people died, millions lost power, and hundreds of homes were obliterated.  All this, despite the fact that Cuba has seen massive storms many, many times in the past and has really enhanced its emergency preparedness processes over the past few decades.

Although the destruction was massive, Cuba did what it could to minimize the impact:

  • Most of the country’s workforce (75%) is employed by the government, and as such many people were essentially put on call to help with the recovery efforts.
  • Local pharma companies stopped manufacturing medication the week prior to the storm so they could instead produce hydration salts.
  • Many tons of flour were delivered to Cuban bakeries so food sources would remain plentiful for the foreseeable future.
  • Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas.

All in all it was a valiant effort, but at some point, there is a limit to how much you can fight Mother Nature.  But perhaps this will serve as a bit of a wakeup call for Cuba, as many buildings on the island are old and decrepit and need to be repaired or replaced so they can hold up better in extreme weather.  This is absolutely essential because Hurricane Irma will certainly not be the last major storm to hit the island, especially with the continued progression of global warming.

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