Severe flooding provoked by Subtropical Storm Alberto as it moved across the island on Saturday, May 26, continues to impact central Cuba. The storm dropped over 10 cm (4 in) of rain within 24 hours. Government officials reported on Tuesday, May 29, that at least four people had been killed and more than 15,000 residents evacuated from Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara provinces due to the flooding. Around 80 towns reportedly remain isolated by floodwaters and between 44,000 and 60,000 homes are without power.
Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which does not officially begins until June 1. The season ends on November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October. Researchers are predicting slightly above-average hurricane seasons for 2018, with 14 named storms (i.e. hurricanes and tropical storms), seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was marked by a series of highly destructive storms that struck the Caribbean region and the Gulf of Mexico, devastating a number of regions. According to current forecasts, the 2018 season is expected to be less intense.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to avoid areas directly impacted by the flooding, confirm travel reservations, and adhere to any advice issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.