The International Steam Pages


Zafra 2002 - Prospects

Here is the 2002 'open list' courtesy of Thierry Nicholas of Transnico Tours, below is Ron Lingley's considered response to fears about Hurrican Michelle's effects.

Mills in red may have steam activity.

The list of names missing from this list is significant. (But remember the list let alone the dates is never 100% reliable.) They include:

413 Espartaco, 443 Pepito Tey, 515 Ciro Redondo, 522 Venezuela

However Ron Lingley of Steam in Paradise says he has a list which quotes Ciro Redondo as milling 24-12-01 to 11-04-02.

Expect intermills with steam from 201 Amistad, 211 RM Villena, 212 Osvaldo Sanchez, 405 Luis Arcos Bergnes, 428 Marcelo Salado, possibly 448 Simon Bolivar.

Sugar Mills Name Starting Ending
102 Harlem 17-01-02 18-04-02
106 Manuel Sanguily 20-01-02 13-04-02
107 Pablo de la Torriente Brau 08-01-02 07-04-02
1xx 30 de Noviembre 12-01-02 18-04-02
101 Abraham Lincoln 28-12-01 24-04-02
105 Augusto Cesar Sandino 05-01-01 26-04-00
202 Cmdte. Manuel Fajardo 08-01-02 05-04-02
203 Héctor Molina Riaño 05-01-02 30-04-02
204 Habana Libre 15-12-01 30-04-02
205 Camilo Cienfuegos 23-01-02 20-04-02
212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma 15-12-01 27-04-02
207 Gregorio Arlee Mañalich 25-01-02 10-04-02
208 Pablo Noriega 11-01-02 22-04-02
301 Méjico 23-12-01 13-04-02
303 Australia 25-01-02 08-04-02
306 Cuba Libre 10-01-02 18-04-02
310 España Republicana 25-01-02 24-04-02
311 Esteban Hernández 07-02-02 13-04-02
304 Granma 15-01-02 09-04-02
314 Jesus Rabi 21-12-01 10-04-02
320 Juan Avila 18-12-01 15-04-02
319 Rene Fraga 21-01-02 09-04-02
315 Jose Smith Comas 22-01-02 14-04-02
323 Horacio Rodríguez 20-01-02 12-04-02
xxx Mario Muñoz 05-01-02 17-04-02
401 Heriberto Duquesne 05-01-02 15-04-02
407 Abel Santamaría 15-12-01 15-04-02
426 Perucho Figueredo 10-01-02 15-04-02
441 10 de Octubre 15-12-01 11-04-02
440 Ifrain Alfonso 20-12-01 08-04-02
449 G. Washington 11-01-02 11-04-02
435 H. Ameijeiras 11-01-02 05-04-02
439 El Vaquerito 19-12-01 03-04-02
4xx Batalla de Santa Clara 20-01-02 03-04-02
442 Héctor Rodríguez 15-01-02 12-04-02
427 Quintín Banderas 24-01-02 10-04-02
429 José R. Riquelme 22-12-01 10-04-02
432 Chiquitico Fabregat 20-12-01 04-04-02
434 Panchito Gómez Toro 19-12-01 25-02-02
447 Unidad Proletaria 20-12-01 10-04-02
446 Carlos Baliño 02-03-02 24-04-02
409 A. Sánchez 15-12-01 28-04-02
404 Ciudad Caracas 12-12-01 05-04-02
403 Mal Tiempo 20-12-01 06-04-02
406 Guillermo Moncada 05-01-02 20-04-02
416 Catorce de Julio 05-12-01 21-04-02
425 Elpidio Gómez 06-12-01 25-04-02
414 Remberto Abad Alemán 18-01-02 13-04-02
418 Obdulio Morales 08-01-02 18-04-02
421 Aracelio Iglesias 08-01-02 22-04-02
438 Ramón Ponciano 19-01-02 31-03-02
444 F.N.T.A. 13-01-02 18-04-02
445 Melanio Hernández 26-12-01 19-04-02
512 Uruguay 18-01-02 23-04-02
504 Ecuador 28-12-01 11-04-02
503 Orlando Gonzalez 24-12-01 11-04-02
501 Enrique Varona 27-12-01 08-04-02
502 Ignacio Agramonte 01-12-01 23-04-02
505 C. M. Céspedes 04-12-01 20-04-02
509 Argentina 12-12-01 05-04-02
513 Sierra de Cubitas 05-01-02 20-04-02
520 Noel Fernández 10-01-02 18-04-02
521 Siboney 30-11-01 19-04-02
5xx Jesús Suárez Gayol 07-12-01 17-04-02
5xx Batalla de las Guásimas 01-12-01 11-04-02
507 Colombia 24-01-02 17-04-02
510 Amancio Rodríguez 08-01-02 25-03-02
610 Jesús Menéndez 05-01-02 20-04-02
611 Antonio Guiteras 01-12-01 14-04-02
618 Perú 18-12-01 21-03-02
622 Argelia Libre 12-12-01 29-03-02
6xx Majibacoa 20-12-01 13-04-02
602 Loynaz Hechevaría 15-12-01 09-04-02
604 López Peña 10-12-01 24-03-02
607 Nicaragua 06-02-02 08-05-02
608 Cristino Naranjo 15-12-01 06-04-02
621 Antonio Maceo 07-12-01 16-04-02
626 Guatemala 28-01-02 26-04-02
631 Urbano Noris 25-12-01 09-04-02
635 Rafael Freyre 10-02-02 22-04-02
639 Fernando de Dios 25-12-01 15-04-02
640 Frank País 22-02-02 21-04-02
609 Luis E. Carracado 15-01-02 17-03-02
616 Juan M. Márquez 12-01-02 26-03-02
620 Arquímides Colina 10-01-02 28-04-02
624 Roberto Ramírez 20-12-01 01-04-02
629 La Demajagua 23-12-01 19-03-02
6xx Enidio Díaz 02-12-01 20-04-02
637 Ranulfo Leyva 06-12-01 22-04-02
6xx Grito de Yara 21-12-01 10-04-02
601 Salvador Rosales 20-01-02 08-04-02
603 América Libre 25-01-02 09-04-02
605 Los Reynaldo 20-01-02 29-03-02
606 Paquito Rosales 10-01-02 25-04-02
623 Julio Antonio Mella 23-12-01 11-04-02
625 Dos Ríos 10-12-01 17-04-02
641 Rafael Reyes 06-01-02 28-04-02
613 Costa Rica 05-02-02 08-04-02
614 Argeo Martínez 15-01-02 24-04-02
630 Manuel Tarnes 07-01-02 21-04-02
638 El Salvador 01-02-02 08-04-02

Cuba badly hit but the sugar cane will still be cut.

Hurricane Michelle struck Cuba on the evening of November 4th 2001. With winds of up to 135mph. in the eye of the storm, this category 4 hurricane was the strongest to hit the island since October 1944. It came ashore at Playa Giron in the Bay of Pigs area of Matanzas Province at 4 p.m., moving north across the island through Guareiras, Colon and Corralillo. By the time it moved offshore in the early hours of November 5th, its force had reduced considerably.

Official estimates released show at least 2,000 homes destroyed, mainly wooden thatched cottages in the countryside, although up to another 10-40,000 homes and buildings have been damaged (mainly to roofs) in some way. The extensive evacuation of over 750,000 people and 740,000 animals by the Cuban Civil Defence from areas at risk in the path of the storm or storm surges on the coast resulted in only 5 deaths. The Bay of Pigs peninsular was badly damaged throughout and is currently closed. The whole town of Jaguey Grande was flooded to a level of 3'- 4' by the 10"- 20" of rainfall which accompanied the storm. Thousands of trees were felled and power and telecommunications lines severed.

An extensive clean-up campaign was already underway by mid morning on the 5th, with virtually all the local population taking part. Teams of engineers were hard at work to restore power and telephones. Although even today, some parts of Matanzas Province remain without power. National transport services were resumed on the 6th and 7th. The good weather that followed the storm meant that by 8th flood waters had receded and the fields were drying out. Although the effects of the storm were felt over a wide area from Havana to Santa Clara and along the southern coast as far as Sancti Spiritus Province, the main damage was along the path of the eye. The extensive citrus planations were badly affected as was the banana crop. Many fields in this area were without a single banana plant left standing.

Contrary to some reports, sugar cane can stand even this amount of battering. The area in which it has become most mangled is Australia/Antonio Sanchez possibly up as far as Guareiras. This will still be cut, but mostly by hand. Further north, I saw concrete telegraph poles snapped into two, but the canefields behind them were still standing, albeit at a angle of 20-30 degrees from the vertical. This will straighten up in the forthcoming months as it did after hurricane Lily (the previous category 3 hurricane to hit this area) in 1996.

Generally throughout the island the cane is looking good after months of hot weather and good rainfall. Even hurricane rainfall can be useful in some areas! On national television an official stated that where the cane has been blown down, it will be cut by hand and that MINAZ (the Ministry of Sugar) is eager to begin harvesting as soon as possible. They aim to start cutting in the affected areas in December to take into consideration the longer time needed to cut by hand.

The main concern was the mills, but they are hardly high technology. They are pretty sturdy and will cope with or without roofs! Although Michelle was stronger, after Lily no mills were put out of action. Apart from missing corrugated roof sections, at present the only report received of any damage to a mill is at Reynold Garcia, which was probably not due to operate anyway. No damage was seen at George Washington as I passed by.

Australia mill, at most risk from the storm, lost its roof, but intends to start milling at the beginning of February. 28% of Australia's cane has been affected and will be cut by hand. Some other mills (including Jesus Rabi, Primero de Mayo and Antonio Sanchez) had their patios flooded. The electricity throughout Western Cuba had been turned off as the hurricane struck so as to avoid accidents and damage to equipment. MINAZ have now confirmed that there was no damage to the machinery at the mills.

Other reports of damage include a part of the old station building at Matanzas (now used as the bus terminal), which collapsed. Also the secondary line between Pedro Betancourt and Cienfuegos was cut with a bridge down and a section of the line washed away. The Steam Festival at Mal Tiempo will go ahead as planned.

At the other end of the island Rafael Freyre suffered heavy rain as Michelle headed out into the Atlantic. They intend to commence milling in early February.

Ron Lingley, Steam In Paradise. 19 November 2001.


Rob Dickinson

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