Everyday Life: While it Rains…

Plenty of "rains" we’ve had these days in the western and center side of the island. But not everyone wastes bad weather.

While drops of water fall in her window, Nely can barely fall asleep. It’s a habit she has had all her life, and at age 80 odds, little can change.

If there are not thunders, or lightning, she is happy. “There are many things to put in order at home", she says in clear antagonism against those who simply do nothing just because "the rain doesn't allow them."

Even when she prefers not switching up the dining room light, "because you have to save and electricity is very expensive", she orders the medicine drawer, throws to the garbage those past due and the rest she puts them back in orderly by priority which is the same as according to her illnesses.

She also takes advantage of those moments to "upgrade" her personal notes and remember if in a given year, and a given day, her uncle Juan died, or the puppies of her dog Negrita were born, Negrita died of canine distemper.

That is one of the stories I have listened to in these days in which rain - mainly those of us living in the Western side of the country – has hit us hard.

Mercedes, on the other hand, has another "modus operandi". She has country and Creole roots, she assured that she takes advantage of bad weather to check windows and drawers, where she can barely remember what she has stored there.

"I searched and found a few sheets I no hardly use, they were yellow with stains, and then I sank them in a bowl of rain water and left them outdoors, because we cannot speak of the sun around these days. Where she lived as a young girl, sheets were left hanging outdoors, and the more rain water fell on them the whiter they looked when we collected them".

For Irene, on the other hand, rain drives her to knit and sew. Sitting on a rocking chair of her house, without moving because her back hurts, the old lady just thinks of the "knots" she will do to finish the tablecloth pretty and then sell it in Cuban currency to the first buyer who knocks at her door.

She also sews what anyone brings her to fix, whether a zipper, a hemline, a cushion, or making buttonholes to a blouse. Her thing is listening the buzzing of the Singer sewing machine that reminds her of her mother with every passing day for what she once said: "My daughter, if you learn how to sew you will never be alone or moneyless". Prophetic words she still feels as near as the first day.

When it rains endlessly and I have no other choice but keep fighting back humidity and the pain in my bones. My thing is not checking through drawers, neither set medicines in order, neither to whiten sheets with rain water, not even to stitch the hole on my house robe. I write - at least I try to do it -, and here go these lines while the rain also hits my window.

cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Rains in Cuba Cause Damages and Thousands of Evacuees

Rains associated with the subtropical storm Alberto caused damages in the Cuban western provinces, where thousands of people were evacuated, local authorities report today.

The Union of Railways of Cuba announced the cancellation of its operations with passengers at the national level until it is possible to resume them, due to the damage caused by the rainfall to the road infrastructure.

For its part, the National Bus Company adopted a similar measure with the buses leaving or passing through the central provinces of Cienfuegos, Villa Clara and Sancti Spíritus.

In those three territories, at least 11,000 people were evacuated, in response to phenomena such as the flood of rivers and releasing dams.

Also in Matanzas, in western Cuba, more than 2,300 people had to be moved to safe places, with the municipalities Martí, Perico, Colón and Pedro Betancourt as the most affected.

  • Published in Cuba

Bolivian Government Provides Aid for Rain Victims

Deputy Minister of Civil Defense Carlos Brú affirmed that the Bolivian government guarantees assistance to all those affected by the heavy rains that affect several departments of the country.

Brú added that the exact damages of the emergency are not still quantified because it is a developing phenomenon, while reiterating the government's willingness to help the victims.

He commented that, along with other institutions, the Vice Ministry of Civil Defense helps with the delivery of food, habitable tents and supports the deployment of the Armed Forces troops in the affected areas.

The official highlighted the timely disaster response system in Bolivia which is organized from the municipal, departmental and national levels.

In his appearance in the program El pueblo es noticia of Bolivia TV, he reiterated the call to the population made by the president, Evo Morales, that the first thing is to save life and then material goods.

The latest report from the authorities estimated that the families affected by the floods and landslides stands at 14,900.

Likewise, the main departments affected are La Paz, Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Potosí and Tarija.

  • Published in World

Death Toll in Mexico Amounts to 39 After Storm Earl

Rains from tropical storm Earl which passed through the Mexican states of Puebla, Veracruz and Hidalgo last week, has left a death toll of 39, according to local press releases.

The government of Puebla reported in its latest press release that there were at least 28 dead in the region and more than 500 injured, Veracruz counted 10 and Hidalgo one.

The Municipal Head of Huauchinango (Puebla) also reported that landslides in La joya, Guadalupe, Aurora and La Cumbre had killed 13 people - seven children and six adults.

An adult also died on the road, and in the community of Xaltepec the collapse of a hill killed 11 people, while in the municipality of Tlaola three people were killed by landslides. An avalanche of stone and mud buried four people in Hidalgo, who were attending a family party in the municipality of Nicolás Flores in the region of the Sierra Gorda of the state, one of whom died.

The National Coordination of Civil Protection of the Interior Ministry declared as state of emergency in the municipalities of Huauchinango, Tlaola and Xicotepec.

The preliminary report of the Department of Civil Protection states that there were 10,600 victims in 29 municipalities in north, south and center of Veracruz, with over 2,000 homes affected.

The secretariat of Guerrero reported that rains from Friday to Sunday wreaked havoc on 116 homes in six municipalities, floods, river floods, fallen trees, landslides on road and 21 isolated localities.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has expressed his condolences through Twitter to relatives of the victims and assured that the federal government will continue working to support citizens and communities affected.

Yesterday Tropical Storm Javier formed in the Pacific Ocean along the coast of the states of Jalisco and Colima.

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Cuba: Severe Drought, Lack of Rain Trigger Water Saving Alert

The severe drought affecting Cuban aquifers and reservoirs given the extreme lack of rainfalls has led authorities to call for water-saving measures and other distribution strategies to cushion the tense situation.

The National Water Institute reported that by late July all its 242 dams were at 35 percent of their total capacity some 3 billion cubic meters, a volume well below the historic records for this period of the year.

The most affected Cuban provinces are central Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus; eastern Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey, and western Pinar del Rio.

Meanwhile, rainfall accumulates for July only reached 89.6 millimeters, meaning 67 percent of historic records.

The National Water Institute is taking actions to cushion the impact of these phenomena, particularly in the hardest hit areas, reads the report.

On Monday, the National Civil Defense also alerted on the low levels of reservoirs and the aquifers, which require a saving efforts by all sectors in the country.

The Civil Defense authorities activated temporary working teams in all provinces and municipalities to evaluate and control a series of measures in tune with the country’s disaster reduction plans, including the distribution of water to state entities and private businesses, the rehabilitation of supply networks and a restructuring in the water-supply program according to the situation of every territory.

15 Dead, 10,400 Families Affected by Rains in Bolivia

LA PAZ – At least 15 people died and some 10,400 families have suffered property damage as a result of the intense rains and flooding affecting Bolivia, especially six of the country’s nine regions, a government official said Sunday.

  • Published in World
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