Cuba floods: At least two dead as heavy rain hits island

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A vintage car in Havana's flooded streetsImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
A vintage car makes its way through Havana's flooded streets

At least two people have died in Cuba's capital, Havana, after the remnants of Hurricane Agatha brought heavy rain and floods to the Caribbean island.

The Cuban weather service said the downpours would last until Saturday afternoon, bringing more than 20cm (8in) of rain to some places.

Western and central areas of the country, including Havana, are the worst affected.

Hurricane Agatha hit Mexico last Monday, killing nine people.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Residents of Havana have been knee-deep in water

Nearly 2,000 people have evacuated their homes in Havana, and around 50,000 people in and around the city are without electricity.

Evacuation centres have been prepared to shelter people from the rain, the state-affiliated Cuban News Agency reported.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
A vintage car breaks down in floodwaters on a Havana street

The storm is the remnant of Hurricane Agatha, which hit Mexico's west coast last week killing nine people. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the country during the month of May.

The weather system has now moved north-east towards the Gulf of Mexico, and is likely to become the first named tropical storm of the season. It is expected to bring heavy rain to the US state of Florida.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
A man carries a dog to safety in Havana

Cuba is no stranger to hurricanes, but climate change has increased the intensity and frequency of the powerful storms.

In 2019, amendments were made to the Cuban constitution which commit the government to confronting climate change, recognising it as a threat to the survival of the human species.