HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) (Caribbean News Now) – Experts and technicians from Cuba’s ministry of science, technology and environment (CITMA) in Camaguey conducted a preliminary assessment of the environmental impact caused by Hurricane Irma in the north and south coastal areas of the territory.
In the largest province in Cuba, with more coastline and with 25 percent of the beaches of the whole island, work is being carried out to ascertain the degree of total affect on the environment caused by Irma.
Lisbet Font Vila, head of the CITMA Environment Unit in the region, told reporters that because of coastal flooding, La Boca beach at the tourist resort of Santa Lucia, on the north coast, and Florida Beach on the southern coast, suffered the greatest damage to the flora, the fauna, the soils and topography.
She explained that the most damaged natural component of agro-ecosystems in the whole territory were soils with an estimated loss of around 10,110 tons in the entire region of Camaguey as a consequence of erosion caused by the effects of the storm.
The loss of sand from dunes, the increase of escarpments and rocks in the beachfronts, and the collapse of structures built on sand, were results of Irma’s passage through the resort of Santa Lucia, where the sector most affected was La Boca.
In that coastal area, one of the most coveted within the province’s marine ecosystem, the movement of rocks, blocks of Thalassia, a species of alga, and considerable volumes of sand on its access road, occurred. More than 60 percent of this was impassable, said Font Vila.
While on Florida beach, although there was sand-mud sediment accumulated on the coastline, no evidence of chemical or hydrocarbon contamination was observed, and suspended organic matter is maintained by removal and runoff from land.