26 October 2012

CUBA : 29 Oct UPDATE: Raul Visits Devastated Provinces; Santiago Damage Is $88 Million; Clean-up Begins After 11 Deaths From Hurricane Sandy.


          President Raul Castro visited parts of hurricane devastated eastern Cuba...Santiago,  Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara provinces.
         Santiago is still without water or power...4 days after Sandy hit the city.(AP)
         Estimates of damage are preliminary...but Granma reports that 15,400 homes were destroyed in Santiago and 130,000 were damaged...valued at least $88 million.
         In Cuba...long vaunted for its highly effective civil defense and massive storm evacuations....11 died...from the Category 2 winds and rains of Hurricane Sandy.
         9 deaths were reported in Santiago and 2 in Guantanamo...from collapsing buildings.
      Heaviest damage occurred in Holguin and Santiago de Cuba.
      Officials report that Holguin's staple banana crop was 90% destroyed.
      A reporter in Santiago said, “The panorama here is very difficult, very sad, very hard.’’
     “The curious thing is that Sandy scarcely weakened” as it crossed the Sierra Maestra, said a weatherman...with wind gusts up to 152 mph recorded.