In Cuba, people are struggling with intense rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes due to a low-pressure system. The floods are already causing deaths. It could be the first harbinger of a severe hurricane season.

At the beginning of the hurricane season, a severe storm raged in Cuba. According to the information, a low pressure area had brought intense rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes in western and central Cuba. Floods have been reported in most parts of Havana, the Communist Party newspaper Granma reported. According to civil protection, the power grid was also damaged.

Potential tropical storm in Cuba

According to the US Hurricane Center NHC, it was a potential tropical cyclone. At least 40 houses were damaged in the capital, Havana, and two people lost their lives. The deaths came from a house collapse and an accident, as the Presidential Office of the socialist island state announced on Twitter on Friday. One person is missing in the neighboring western province of Pinar del Río.

The center and old town of Havana are most affected. Around 400 people were accommodated in emergency shelters, more than 1800 stayed with friends or family. In addition to Cuba, heavy rain was also expected in parts of nearby Florida and the Bahamas. The storm swept across Mexico in the middle of the week. At least eleven people were killed there. Another 21 people are missing, said the governor of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat.

Especially many and severe hurricanes expected

The hurricane season lasts through late November — and this year could be particularly devastating. For the seventh time in a row, the US weather agency “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” is expecting an above-average number of hurricanes. Coastal residents could face up to 21 storms instead of about 14 as the long-term average. According to the forecast, the storms should not only occur more frequently, but also increase in intensity: hurricanes with wind speeds of more than 119 kilometers per hour could emerge from the storms, forecast the meteorologists.

This is due to the interaction of several meteorological components. Hurricanes can only occur when the water surface temperature exceeds 26 degrees. The Gulf of Mexico already broke this mark in May. In addition, the weather this year is characterized by the “La Niña” phenomenon: Among other things, it changes sea and air currents and thus facilitates the development of storms off North America.

Sources: German Press Agency, “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration”, “Tagesschau”