HAVANA — The historic but often decrepit buildings of Havana and other colonial Cuban cities couldn’t stand up to Hurricane Irma’s winds and rainfall, collapsing and killing seven people in one of the highest death tolls from the storm’s passage through the Caribbean.

Authorities said Monday three more people were killed by falling objects or drowning, pushing the death toll to 10 in Cuba and at least 24 others in the Caribbean. It was Cuba’s worst hurricane death toll since 16 died in Hurricane Dennis in 2005.

Most of Cuba’s grand old buildings were confiscated from the wealthy and distributed to the poor and middle classes after a 1959 revolution that promised housing, health care and education as universal rights. But with state salaries of about $25 a month and government agencies strapped for cash, most have seen little maintenance.

People clear debris outside their homes after the passing of Hurricane Irma in Havana, Cuba, Monday. Cuban state media reported 10 deaths despite the country’s usually rigorous disaster preparations. More than 1 million were evacuated from flood-prone areas. Associated Press/Desmond Boylan

Tropical rain and sea spray have chewed into unpainted facades and seeped through unpatched roofs. Trees have sprouted from balconies. Iron rebar has rusted, sloughing off chunks of powdery concrete.

Damage wasn’t limited to Havana. More than 100 houses in a small town on Cuba’s coastline were destroyed in Matanzas Province when Irma swept through the area, leaving hundreds of people homeless.

In every neighborhood, residents talk warily about the buildings that are one hurricane away from total collapse.

That hurricane came Saturday and Sunday as Irma ground up the northern coast, sending chest-high seawater six blocks into Central Havana and blasting the city with 60 mph winds.

On Galeano Street in Central Havana, a fourth-floor balcony dropped onto a bus carrying Maria del Carmen Arregoitia Cardona and Yolendis Castillo Martínez, both 27. In the cities of Matanzas, Ciego de Avila and Camaguey, three men in their 50s and 60s died in building collapses.

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