The Council of Ministers, headed by its President, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, met on Saturday afternoon to continue checking Havana recovery following the devastating passage through several municipalities of an EF4 tornado on the night of January 27.
After a tour of Guanabacoa, Diez de Octubre, Cerro, Regla and Habana del Este, Major General Ramón Pardo Guerra, head of the Civil Defense Staff, meant that after thirteen days of the impact almost all the vital systems have been recovered and the reconstruction process has been gaining in organization, according to reports.
It is necessary to improve, he said, the work in the offices of procedures and the points of sale of construction materials, as well as to continue paying all the attention to the hygienic-sanitary conditions of the premises where people are sheltered, among them old people, children and pregnant women.
The Minister of Construction, René Mesa Villafaña, reported that there had been 7,436 affected houses; construction materials have been delivered to 2,048 victims; and 564 cases have been resolved.
He highlighted the contribution of families who have joined full time, together with the builders, to the rehabilitation of their homes, and the permanent presence of construction forces in the premises that are adapting to housing. In particular, he mentioned the maintenance work being done on a building of 70 apartments - donated by the University of Havana - in order to deliver it in the shortest possible time.
At this point, the first secretary of the Party in the capital, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, explained that an uprising has been made with the people who suffered most damage with the passage of the tornado to give them priority in the delivery of housing, in which teachers have been given a priority status. The Cuban President also said to take into account in this preference to the health professionals who were affected.
The minsiter of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños Weiss, commented that progress is being made in the processing of technical files for obtaining construction materials, although there are still specific difficulties in certain offices. It is not possible to speak, she said, of a generalized problem. In the municipality of Guanabacoa it has worked very well, not so in some offices of Regla and 10 de Octubre.
She announced that a total of 174 subsidies were granted, 312 bank credits and that most people have decided to pay in cash, which is influenced by the 50% reduction in the prices of construction materials.
Torres Iríbar pointed out that after almost all of the technical files have been created, tensions are transferred to the sale of materials, which led to measures being taken to open more points in the territories through which the tornado passed and to reinforce the brigades for the stowage of materials with university students and members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior. He also warned about the urgency of ensuring that crime does not proliferate with the resources that the Cuban State has earmarked for recovery.
Regarding the donations that have reached the affected municipalities, the President of the Government in Havana, Reynaldo García Zapata, announced that they have benefited more than 4,000 victims and that donations continue to be given as there are large volumes collected in the warehouses.
Finally, the Minister of Communications, Jorge Luis Perdomo Di Lella, reported that on Saturday afternoon began to hoist the radio tower of medium wave that was knocked down by the winds of the tornado, which should be restored the signals of the Radio Rebelde and COCO radio stations.