Photo: Estudio Revolución

The response to the damages caused by Subtropical Storm Alberto has been rapid, and the recovery in affected provinces is progressing, stated the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during a recent video conference.

The meeting was also attended by First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Salvador Valdés Mesa, several vice presidents and ministers of the country, while video links were established with Party and government authorities in western and central territories.

“Now we must continue working on two fundamental issues: the recovery of housing and agriculture,” stressed Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

In this regard, he insisted on the need to continue defending the position that everything we do must be better than it was.

Alejandro Gil Fernández , first deputy minister of Economy and Planning, reported that the required mattresses and roof insulation have been guaranteed in affected provinces, and more can be distributed if necessary. He explained that the delivery plans of potatoes and other root vegetables, as well as fuel to undertake the recovery works, have been met.

Construction Minister René Mesa Villafaña reported that the total amount of damages to housing yet to be repaired has been reduced to 5,218, and 926 roofs. He explained that specific solutions to the damages are constantly being sought, and that work on the bridge over the Zaza River is being organized, of which 18 spans have already been pre-fabricated.

Minister of Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza Rodríguez, pointed out that 127 processing offices had been created to offer personalized attention to residents of the central provinces that saw the greatest damages.

Regarding Ciego de Ávila province, it was reported that temporary solutions have been found for the almost 200 homes that were damaged, mainly in the municipalities of Florencia, Chambas, and Venezuela. In addition, work is ongoing to restore the Morón-Turiguanó road, while 535 tons of rice that could be recovered were harvested. Meanwhile, a solution has yet to be found to repair the section of railroad that connects with the town of Punta Alegre.

Some 6,700 hectares of various crops have been planted in Sancti Spíritus, in an emergency plan, and the tobacco and rice harvests continue. At the same time, aquaculture and milk collection have been recovering. Currently, the greatest remaining damages are to roads, on which work is advancing in a sustained manner.

Regarding Villa Clara, it was reported that reservoirs are 97.4% full, and that rains persist in the province.

In agriculture, there was an increase to 15,000 sowed hectares, and the majority of orchards and urban farms have been recovered, for which the support of workers from different sectors was decisive.

Authorities from Cienfuegos detailed that several wells have been drilled to supply water to two communities in the rural settlement of Arimao. Likewise, work is ongoing on the accelerated sowing of short-cycle crops, to increase food supplies to the population. As for the railways, the most difficult situation concerns two bridges that link train services from the province to Havana.

Regarding the Bay of Cienfuegos, methods to access Punta Ladrillo, which can only be reached by sea, are being evaluated, where an area of one hundred square meters remains affected by oily waters, in the wake of a spill from the refinery.

In the case of Matanzas, it was noted that the Investigations and Projects Enterprise concluded an initial report on the floods in Ciénaga de Zapata, which will guide the adoption of certain decisions in the territory, where ten houses remain flooded. It was also learned that schools had returned to normal schedules throughout the province.

Specifically on the Kindelán bridge, it was explained that the rains of recent days had made it impossible to complete the repair work and thus restore circulation on the island’s northern highways.

According to authorities of Artemisa and Mayabeque, both provinces have seen frequent rain, though this has not prevented the sowing or harvesting of agricultural products. Food delivery plans to the capital were met.

From Pinar del Río, it was noted that the sowing of short-cycle products is being promoted, and some 27,000 tons of rice are being harvested. Meanwhile, more than 32 million sticks of strung tobacco leaves have been collected, which makes this a great campaign, superior to that of the last 12 years.

Meanwhile, 94 new damages to homes caused by recent rains were reported.