Winnipeggers rally to help family members in Cuba devastated by Irma
Harold Rancano and Yadilka Telluz Rojas are planning to hold a fundraiser for their families in October
People in Winnipeg are rallying to help family members in Cuba who have lost everything to Hurricane Irma.
Harold Rancano, 31, is among a small group of Cubans who plan to hold a fundraising social in Winnipeg in October.
Rancano's family home in Havana was flooded to the ceiling with salt water and his mother and aunt were forced to flee.
"It's been devastating," he said. "There is nothing left. There is no electronics, no beds, no kitchen, bathroom. Everything is gone."
Food, water shortages
Yadilka Telluz Rojas, 40, has been trying to connect with her family in the town of Ciro Redondo — in central Cuba — but it has not been easy. There is no electricity, on top of food and water shortages, she said.
"It's sad, it's hard, because you cannot call, you cannot send nothing — everything is closed," she said.
Her parent's home is still standing but two of her aunts and two cousins all lost their homes to the Category 5 storm which rolled through last week.
"The town is destroyed," she said. "You can see houses without roofs, everything is wet — mattress, beds, TV's."
At least 34 people were reportedly killed across the Caribbean region, including 10 in Cuba. Most of those deaths happened in Havana where Irma hurled ocean water deep into neighbourhoods, Cuban state news reported.
Road to rebuild will be difficult
Both Rancano and Telluz Rajos are grateful their families are safe but say the process to rebuild will be challenging.
There is no insurance on homes in Cuba and building supplies are not readily available, Rancano said.
"For us our goal here on this side is to fundraise money to send there to restart again," he said.
"We will do our best to help out and ask for the help of the community."