Nélida Sevila, 52, whose guest house lies a few blocks from the sea in Baracoa, said that while all she lost was power and water for a while, Ike is the worst storm she has seen hit her town in Guantánamo province.
"I've never seen such a thing," she said by phone. "This is the worst I have seen this year and in all my life. It breaks your heart."
The storm surge caused the most damage, she said. From her house, Sevila could see the towering waves pounding on the sea wall. She called that part of the town ‘‘totally destroyed."
"Everything, everything, everything," said Sevila, who sent her guests to a hotel before the storm hit.
Baracoa's cathedral was not harmed, she said. But a high school and a bus station were in shambles.
Sevila lost power for 26 hours, and her water was back on in the wee hours of Tuesday. Her son's house did not fare as well: He lost roof tiles and his kitchen was flooded, she said.
"I'm still a little nervous," she said. "This is a disaster. The sea, the sea is a betrayer."
PATRICIA MAZZEI, The Miami Herald