25 October 2005

Hurricane Wilma: 250 pulled to safety by divers

Scuba diving teams in inflatable rafts pulled nearly 250 people from their flooded homes early on Monday after massive waves churned by Hurricane Wilma flooded the capital's Malecon coastal highway and adjacent neighbourhoods of old, crumbling buildings.

The communist-government's revolutionary armed forces were also using amphibious vehicles to rescue people whose homes were flooded by more than a metre of water when the ocean penetrated four large city blocks into Havana's coast.

"We're amazed," resident Laura Gonzalez-Cueto said as she watched divers transporting small groups of people in the black inflatable rafts with outboard motors.

"Since early today, the water has come all the way up to Linea and Paseo," said Gonzalez-Cueto, referring to a major thoroughfare four blocks from the coast now under more than 1m of water.

Source: www.news24.com


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