Cuba raises death toll from Storm Alberto to 7, two missing

HAVANA, June 2 (Reuters) - Seven people drowned and two remain missing as a result of flooding last week in Cuba caused by storm Alberto that forced tens of thousands to evacuate and caused a spill of oily water in Cienfuegos bay, Cuba's Civil Defense authority said.

Cuba had previously reported a preliminary estimate of four dead in the floods that damaged crops and infrastructure, left many communities cut off and forced authorities to open sluice gates on reservoirs that reached bursting levels.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of the 2018 season, scraped by Cuba's west coast before charging into the southern United States, but still brought heavy rain.

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Subtropical Storm Alberto
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Subtropical Storm Alberto
A man rides a bicycle down a flooded road as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A man rides a bicycle down a flooded road as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Dalma Samora, 14, walks against the winds of Subtropical Storm Alberto as it passes by the west coast of Cuba, in La Palma, Cuba, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Tourists are seen at a beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
Tourists pack their things to enter the hotel as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
A general view shows an empty beach as subtropical storm Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Israel Leal
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That caused treatment ponds of waste at the Cienfuegos oil refinery to overflow, resulting in a spill of 12,000 cubic meters of oily water into the bay, state-run media reported.

In the western province of Pinar del Rio, the National Institute of Hydraulic Resource said it had rained three times more than the historic May median, bringing reservoirs to 92 percent of their capacity and collapsing more than 40 homes.

The island country's biggest reservoir, Zaza, in the Sancti-Spíritus Province in central Cuba, reached its second highest level on record, state-run media said.

The heavy rains this year stand in stark contrast with the previous three years of severe drought in Cuba that saw reservoirs drop below 40 percent capacity.

As the new hurricane season gets underway, parts of Cuba are still recovering from Hurricane Irma, which rampaged through the island over three days, killing at least 10 people last September.

U.S. forecasters said last week they expected the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be near-normal to above-normal in number and intensity of storms. (Reporting by Sarah Marsh Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Related: Deadliest hurricanes

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15 of the deadliest American hurricanes ever
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15 of the deadliest American hurricanes ever

Hurricane Hugo, 1989: 21 deaths

Hurricane Hugo made landfall as a Category 4 storm in South Carolina. It caused 21 deaths in the US and resulted in $7.1 billion of damage. At the time, it was the costliest storm in US history.

Photo courtesy: Getty

Tropical Storm Allison, 2001: 41 deaths

While not an official hurricane, Allison clocks in as the costliest and deadliest tropical storm in US history, causing 41 deaths and costing more than $5 billion in damage. The storm started over the Gulf of Mexico near Texas, then traveled east, causing floods like the one pictured here in Houston, Texas.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Irene, 2011: 56 deaths

Hurricane Irene, the first storm to hit the US since Ike three years earlier, made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm. The storm eventually made its way up to New York City, bringing flooding -- like the kind pictured here in Puerto Rico -- and causing $7.3 billion in damage overall.

Photo courtesy: AP

Hurricane Floyd, 1999: 57 deaths

Hurricane Floyd was a catastrophic storm because of the rain it brought along. The rain caused extreme flooding from North Carolina on up as the Category 2 storm traveled up the East Coast.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Great Atlantic Hurricane, 1944: 64 deaths

The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 was also devastating to New England, with 64 deaths and more than $100 million in damage. The storm was a Category 3 as it sped up the coast, hitting the Carolinas, Rhode Island, and Long Island before downgrading to a Category 2 in Maine.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Agnes, 1972: 122 deaths

Hurricane Agnes, as seen in this image made it all the way inland to Pennsylvania. Although it was only a Category 1 storm (with winds from 74-95 mph), it still caused 122 deaths and caused $2.1 billion in damage.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Ike, 2008: 195 deaths

The third costliest storm in US history, with $29.5 billion in damage, occurred in September 2008. Starting off the west coast of Africa, Hurricane Ike made its way over the Caribbean and into the Gulf, making US landfall in Texas as a Category 2 storm

Photo courtesy: Reuters

Hurricane Camille, 1969: 256 deaths

Hurricane Camille formed in the Gulf of Mexico and hit Mississippi as a Category 5 storm. Camille caused more than 256 deaths and clocks in as the second most intense hurricane to hit the US.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

New England, 1938: 256 deaths

Nicknamed "Long Island Express," the storm hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm before charging north and hitting Long Island, New York and Connecticut as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm was responsible for more than 256 deaths.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Sandy, 2012: 285 deaths

With $71.4 billion in damage, Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in US history. The Category 1 storm pummeled New York City, flooding the city's transportation systems and leaving thousands of homes destroyed.

It's looking more and more like Hurricane Joaquin won't make landfall in the US and join the list of most horrific storms in US history.

Photo courtesy: AP

Hurricane Audrey, 1957: 416 deaths

The U.S. started naming storms with women's names starting in 1953. Hurricane Audrey, the first storm of the 1957 hurricane season was the deadliest of the 1950s. It originated in the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. This image of the storm shows just how far hurricane imaging has come.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Atlantic-Gulf, 1919: 600 to 900 deaths

This Category 4 storm swept into the Gulf of Mexico right under Key West, Florida(pictured), landing as a Category 3 storm in Corpus Christi, Texas. Anywhere from 600 to 900 people died in that storm.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005: 1,200 deaths

Hurricane Katrina is arguably the most notorious storm of the 21st century. The storm made landfall as a Category 5 near Miami before striking Louisiana as a Category 3 storm. Katrina was the third deadliest, and costliest hurricane in U.S. history with more than 1,200 deaths and $108 billion in damage.

Photo courtesy: Reuters

San Felipe Okeechobee, 1928: 2,500 deaths

This hurricane was the second deadliest in US history, with more than 2,500 deaths. The Category 4 storm made landfall in Palm Beach on September 10, 1928. Puerto Rico got hit hard as well, with winds at 144 mph.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Galveston, Texas in 1900: 8,000 to 12,000 deaths

The deadliest hurricane in US history happened at the turn of the 20th century. The Category 4 of 5 hurricane -- with winds anywhere from 130-156 mph -- made landfall in Galveston, Texas (pictured), then headed north through the Great Plains. Anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 people died in the storm.

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons

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