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Lots of damage in Western Cuba due to rain storm

Havana, Mar 23 (Prensa Latina) Villages in five provinces of western Cuba are facing damage to homes, crops and power grids due to heavy rains in the last 24 hours that will continue this Saturday.

The Forecasting Center of the Meteorological Institute reported that from early Saturday morning showers, rains and thunderstorms will occur, which may become heavy and intense in some localities in the West.

Intense rainfall on Friday afternoon and evening caused unusually large hailstorms, downed trees, fences, public boards, flash floods and downed power lines.

The National Electricity Union (UNE, in Spanish) reported that more than 260,000 users in the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Matanzas and Havana are without electricity service, particularly in four Havana municipalities where more than 120,000 homes are affected.

The UNE announced that crews of linemen and electricians from the center of the island, particularly from the provinces of Ciego de Avila and Villa Clara, are heading in solidarity to western areas to help their local colleagues repair the damage.

Metereology warned that on Saturday afternoon-evening an unusual cold front will arrive in the western region, with showers, rains and thunderstorms, a phenomenon that will move towards the central provinces and will weaken in the eastern region on Sunday 24.

The forecast center’s warning specifies that in areas with thunderstorms, the strength of winds and the height of waves may increase, thus augmenting the risks of flash floods and sea surge.

In Friday’s storm some wind gusts were reported, which were significant at 66 to 75 kilometers per hour.

Unusual hailstorms accumulated large amounts of ice clusters in many areas of the West, which attracted a lot of attention from residents.