Hurricane Irma Further Weakens Cuba’s Crumbling Infrastructure

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HAVANA (CBSMiami) – Cuba is just one of the many countries recovering from Hurricane Irma.

The monster storm grazed the north east coast of the island on its way toward the Florida Keys.

Cuba’s crumbling infrastructure was no match for the storm, and now we’re getting a look at the human toll taken on the island.

Ten people died Cuba after the storm barreled into the island nation.

While the eye of the storm hit far from Havana, strong winds and flooding further weakened the city.

Litza Penalver Sierra lives in a Havana neighborhood where a ceiling collapsed, killing two of her neighbors.

“What you see up there, that fell from the other building,” Penalver Sierra.

The men killed were brothers, according to a statement issued by the Cuban government.

What was their home is now rubble – a pair of jeans and a half buried flip flop is all that’s left of their lives there.

Cuban rescue workers removed the bodies but the other residents are still living in the ruins.

After Irma struck, Cuban Leader Raul Castro said no Cuban would be abandoned.

But Penalver Sierra has letters dating back 10 years asking the government to move her to a safer location. Yet, she remains.

A government supporter, she says local officials have brought her food but no answers about providing safer housing.

“I don’t want my family or anyone else to die. While they live and sleep fine in their houses,” she says of the local officials, “we don’t sleep because we are afraid we won’t wake up.”

Irma is long gone but the wounds she left behind may never heal.

Irma impacted 13 of Cuba’s 15 provinces. Flooding has left many small communities isolated and fresh water supplies have been contaminated. Cuba’s agricultural sector also suffered serious damage.

More from Eliott Rodriguez
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