Cuba says 2 dead as heavy rains collapse buildings

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Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

HAVANA (AP) — Two people are dead from torrential rains that have lashed Cuba for the last two days, island authorities said Saturday.

The deluge caused at least two dwellings in Havana to collapse, killing a man and a woman, Communist Party newspaper Granma reported.

Yunior Amesa, nephew of the deceased man, told The Associated Press he had left for work just before their building came down.

"It was raining very hard and there was a lot of weight (from the water) up there. They went to bed. Minutes before, I was sitting in there," Amesa said. "When I went to work I heard the building had collapsed and caught them both sleeping."

The rain arrived early Friday and fell near constantly throughout the day. Traffic snarled and some cars were stranded, as intersections flooded and streets turned into rushing rivers.

Cuba's Meteorological Institute recorded 2.8 inches (72 millimeters) of precipitation during a single three-hour period in the afternoon in Havana, and accumulations of up to 7.8 inches (200 millimeters) overnight.

Rain was continuing to fall in the capital Saturday, and the famed seaside Malecon boulevard remained closed because of high surf that was breaking over the seawall and onto the street.

Granma said the area affected ranged from the western province of Artemisa to Ciego de Avila in the central part of the country.

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