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Varadero demolishes coastal buildings to prevent beach erosion

Cuba is in the process of demolishing buildings that were built upon the natural dunes in Varadero beach in an attempt to prevent erosion. The coastal resort is one of the leading holiday destinations in Cuba and so far, 19 buildings in Varadero and 21 on the sand dunes have been taken down along the 22-kilometre coastline, with a further 10 scheduled for demolition by the end of the year.

Varadero demolishes coastal buildings to prevent beach erosion

Buildings that have been constructed on the sand dunes of Varadero beach, Cuba are in the process of being knocked down in an attempt to prevent beach erosion.

The coastal resort is a popular holiday destination in Cuba and 19 buildings in Varadero and 21 on the area's sand dunes have already been demolished. A further 10 buildings are scheduled to be knocked down by the end of 2013.

According to Ivis Fernandez, an official from Cuba's Tourism Ministry (MINTUR), the main cause of beach erosion is the random construction on more than 400 beaches across the island nation and up to one metre of sandy beach is being lost each year.

The Cuban authorities are trucking additional sand to many beaches in the resort to try and "beef" them up because the process of beach erosion in irreversible.

"We're spreading the sand through a technique that in a short time restores the natural state of the beaches," explained Jose Luis Juanes, the chief of the Department of Coastal Procedures at the Oceanology Institute of the Environment, Science and Technology Ministry.

Varadero had just three hotels prior to 1990 but the resort has since become a leading destination for tourists and travellers. More hotels in Varadero have been built over the years which has significantly affected the coastal environment.

The resort now has 18,742 rooms and this year, and an estimated three million tourists are expected to visit Cuba this year, with large numbers heading to Varadero.

Varadero is located in the province of Matanzas on the Hicacos Peninsula on the north coast of the Caribbean island. The region is one of the most popular beaches in Cuba with more than 20km of pristine white sand and several luxury beachfront all-inclusive resorts and hotels.

In Varadero visitors can enjoy beautiful natural landscapes such as the Bellamar Caves and virgin cays; go scuba diving and snorkelling in the turquoise crystal-clear waters; or take excursions to Delfinario, a natural pool for dolphins, or visit nearby Cardenas City.

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