Cuba’s hurricanes damage estimated at more than $10 bn

November 13th, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, Nov 13 (IANS) Cuba has sustained losses worth more than $10 billion in three hurricanes that have devastated the Caribbean island in the past three months, President Raul Castro has said.”We’re almost getting to $10 billion,” Castro told reporters Wednesday in eastern Cuba that bore the brunt of the latest of the three hurricanes, Paloma.

Between Aug 9 and Nov 9, Cuba was battered by three powerful hurricanes, the Gustav, the Ike and the Paloma that left a trail of destruction across the island, killing scores of people, destroying thousands of cattle head, razing homes and inundating standing crops and agricultural lands.

Cuban officials earlier had estimated that losses from the first two hurricanes — the Gustav, which devastated western Cuba Aug 9, and the Ike, which crossed the island from east to west Sep 7-9 — were more than $8.6 billion.

The Gustav and the Ike destroyed or damaged half a million homes, according to official figures.

“We’re going to resolve (the situation). Everything you lost we’re going to resolve. Sometimes it’s not tomorrow, you have to wait a little bit, but the people of Santa Cruz understand,” he said, referring to the town of Santa Cruz del Sur that was most affected by the hurricane Paloma that crossed the country Nov 9.

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