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  • A dry rice field in Cuba

    A dry rice field in Cuba's Pinar del Rio province. | Photo: Reuters

Most of those affected reside in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, according to the report.

Nearly 1 million people have been affected by the intense and prolonged drought in Cuba, where reservoirs in 11 of 15 provinces are under half their capacity, the island's state television reported on Friday.

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Of the more than 964,000 people affected in April - also the last month of the dry season - 663,000 reside in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, according to the report.

Countrywide there are 296 water sources of which supplies are affected, with 62 of these completely paralyzed.

The reservoirs on the island are registering 36.5 percent of their filling capacity. In the central provinces of Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila and Camaguey, where the drought is especially acute, reservoirs are below 25 percent.

Rains in the last few days allowed more than 54 million cubic meters of water to be collected in the reservoirs of the Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas, Mayabeque and Havana provinces.

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Seventy-one percent of the territory on the island has been affected by the lack of rainfall, and authorities say immediate action including the installation of desalination plants, the excavation of wells, the replenishment of underground basins as well as saving and rational use of waters in sectors of high consumption are needed to address the current situation.

In 2015, Cuba also suffered from a drought considered to be the worst drought in 115 years by the National Center of Climate, affecting more than 70 percent of the Caribbean island’s territory.

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