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Havana Neighborhoods Flooded by Giant Waves, Strong Winds


A man tries to start the engine of a vintage car in a flooded street in Havana, Cuba, January 23, 2017.

Havana was flooded on Monday as tall waves crashed over the Cuban capital's breakwaters on the northeastern coastline.

Strong winds lasting for over 20 hours and reaching speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour caused waves over 5 meters tall that flooded between four to five blocks and hundreds of houses.

Residents were shocked by the flood, especially the severity of the damage.

"This doesn't happen every year. Last year it did not happen. However, we were forced to take the same preventive measures. Now our houses are likely to be flooded. And it did happen during the 'Storm of the Century'. It was such a horrible thing!" said Aylin Orozco, a Havana resident.

"From what we have seen so far, the flooding seems quite severe. Perhaps it won't be as serious as in previous occasions, but we have noticed that the sea has been flooding the area since early morning. We will stay here watching, waiting for the sea to withdraw. At least here, in the Revolution Square district, the flooding is likely to continue," said Jorge Hernandez, another Havana resident.

The winds are expected to weaken on Tuesday, followed by the sea water receding back to the ocean.

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