Hurricane Sandy rampages through Cuba leaving 11 dead

Campaign News | Friday, 26 October 2012

Hurricane reports from the Cuban News Agency

Losses Worth Millions in Santiago de Cuba Due to Hurricane Sandy

The initial estimate of losses caused by Hurricane Sandy in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba is one of the highest in its history caused by a meteorological phenomenon.

So far, losses are estimated at over 2.1 billion pesos. This figure, however, will increase when the count of damages in the tourism, sugar, construction and other sectors is concluded, as explained on Friday during a meeting of members of the command post of the Civil Defense in the territory.

Brigades from the provinces of Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila, Las Tunas and Granma are currently working in the re-establishment of electricity and telephone services, showing their solidarity with Santiago de Cuba residents now going through a difficult situation.

In the case of housing, as preliminary figures, 43,000 roofs were totally destroyed, and 15,000 houses collapsed, according to specialists of the Housing Institute in the province.

In this regard, Army Corps General Ramon Espinosa, Deputy Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, focused on the importance of guaranteeing the supply of tiles to people in need, particularly those of low income levels.

Lazaro Exposito, president of the Provincial Defense Council, explained that another priority is the cleaning of the province. The volume of debris is so high that obstructs access to vital production and service centers, communities, and offices and facilities providing services to the people, he commented.

The first steps to recover from the damages caused by the meteorological phenomenon affecting the area are being taken, although due to their magnitude, the conclusion of tasks will take a long time.

Hurricane Sandy Damaged Some 17,000 Houses in Holguin

Close to 17,000 houses suffered damages in their structure as a consequence of the strong winds of Hurricane Sandy, which left the island through that province.

Most problems correspond to the partial collapse of roofs, according to preliminary data offered by Archi Lam, vice-president of the Provincial Administration Council.

This was one of the branches, along with the agriculture and livestock sector, where the most significant damages were reported, particularly in the municipalities of Mayari, Banes, Antilla, Rafael Freyre, Baguano, Urbano Noris, Sagua de Tanamo and Cueto.

Lam informed that the hurricane caused damages in the housing sector estimated at over 91 million pesos, which will require numerous resources and construction materials to carry out the recovery program in that segment of society.

The situation, he said, is complex, because we're talking about thousands of families, among which there are many whose houses were totally destroyed.

In this regard, Jorge Cuevas, president of the Provincial Defense Council, pointed put that for the time being it's necessary to solve cases demanding less resources, taking advantage of some materials that could be recovered and used with this purpose.

Cuba: Second Round of Municipal Elections, Postponed

Alina Balseiro, president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN), informed on Friday that the second round of municipal elections, scheduled for October 28 in all Cuban provinces, has been postponed due to the situation on the eastern part of the island as a consequence of the passage of Hurricane Sandy.

Balseiro pointed out that the date of the second round of municipal elections will be informed at the proper time, and expressed on behalf of all members of the Commission their solidarity with the families that are still suffering the consequences of Sandy, which wreaked havoc in the eastern part of the island.

With respect to voting on October 21, the president of the CEN pointed out that final results indicate that 94.21 percent of voters went to the polls to select delegates to municipal assemblies of the People's Power.

The validation of data corroborated that 13,124 delegates were elected, so there will be a second round of elections in 1,413 constituencies, which represent 9.7 percent of the 14,537 existing in the country.

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