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Eastern Part of Cuba Battered by Hurricane Sandy, Preliminary Losses Set at $88 Million

Cuban President Raul Castro visited the central provinces of Villa Clara and Sancti Spiritus, drenched by heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy, which caused considerable damage as it swept through the eastern part of the island, the official AIN news agency reported. "We can say we've had a big hurricane in the east and a small 'Flora' (the devastating 1964 hurricane) in the central part of the country," Castro said. "We didn't want to go to the east without first visiting the central provinces." On Saturday Castro visited the provinces of Villa Clara and Sancti Spiritus after presiding over a Council of Ministers meeting which analyzed, among other matters, the measures the government will adopt for repairing the damage from Hurricane Sandy, which crossed the eastern part of the island from south to north last Thursday. In Santiago, the second most populous province of the country with more than 1 million inhabitants, there have been reported in the housing sector alone more than 14,200 completely destroyed homes and more than 32,000 badly damaged, as well as crop losses, roadways blocked, power outages and loss of telephone service. The damage extends to other provinces of the region as well, including Holguin and Guantanamo. The government has not yet released an official estimate of the economic losses caused by the hurricane, but preliminary reports estimate that in Santiago de Cuba they amount to more than 2.12 billion pesos (more than $88 million). continue reading »

U.S. Northeast Awaits Ravages of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is about 505 kilometers (some 310 miles) south-southeast of New York City and moving at 32 kph (about 20 mph) toward the northeastern United States, where it is expected to arrive late in the day on Monday. continue reading »

Hurricane Sandy’s Death Toll Rises to 38

Hurricane Sandy caused 38 deaths and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes in a wide swath of the Caribbean. Sandy, which was a Category 2 hurricane at its peak intensity earlier this week, killed 11 people in Cuba, 26 in Haiti and one in Jamaica and now threatens the northeastern United States, prompting the states of New York and Virginia to declare a state of emergency. continue reading »

Hurricane Sandy Makes Landfall in Cuba, Heads for Bahamas

Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall early Thursday in Cuba, is heading for the central Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center, or NHC, said. continue reading »