Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Havana, Oct. 15, 1999, Cuba Free Press.

FOUR DEAD OR MISSING; THOUSANDS EVACUATED AS A RESULT OF IRENE By Mary Miranda, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Two dead and two missing were part of the balance left by hurricane Irene as she crossed Cuba from south to north on Thursday (Oct. 14). The city of Havana was the area most seriously affected by the heavy rains and winds of the Category 1 storm.

Juan Ledesma Alcántara and Luis Gutiérrez Padrón, both of Havana, were electrocuted. Jorge Pérez Suárez, from Havana, and Modesto Gabriel Morales, from Matanzas, are missing. Civil defense authorities evacuated 37,000 people in Havana province and drove 45,000 head of cattle to higher ground. As the city started picking through an estimated half million cubic meters of debris, there were reports that 149 buildings had collapsed, 13 of which were total losses, and 13 hospitals were affected to some extent. There were also reports of 154 sectors of the city that had lost electricity.

In neighboring Pinar del Río province, preliminary measures to protect the tobacco crop and seed beds and massive evacuations to high ground minimized the damage. Some 300 tourists were evacuated there from the path of the storm. Highest reported rain levels were 11.9 inches at Playa Girón in Matanzas province. The city of Havana reported 4.8 inches across the bay in Casablanca and Topes de Collantes, in Cienfuegos province, 8.6 inches.

Mary Miranda, Cuba Free Press.


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