Some people have been evacuated to a military facility in Gibara, Holguín. Photo: Juan Pablo Carreras Vidal

Initial reports have begun to arrive of damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Gibara, Holguín province. At around 11.00 am this September 8, the first reports arrived of four to eight meter high waves causing severe damage to Gibara’s sea wall and covering roads with debris.
According to Nersys Sarmiento, vice president of the Municipal Defense Council and head of civil defense in the city, speaking to Granma, over half of the municipality’s total population - 43,610 residents – have been evacuated with 42,350 staying in the homes of friends and family, while the remaining 900 are being sheltered in state institutions, including 300 taking refuge in a military facility.
Sea water has penetrated the local swimming pool and hospital, which had been previously evacuated.
Around 25 - 50 millimeters of accumulated rainfall has been reported, in addition to 50 - 70 kilometer per hour winds which are expected to intensify over the next three hours.
On writing this article, damage to 15 homes had been reported, as well as 50-meter storm surges, with the People’s Council of Caletones cut off via land.
The Ovidio Torres education facility had also lost its roof.