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Hurricane Recovery Underway in Cuba
On Sunday evening, the Round Table program broadcast nationally on Cuban radio and television included a panel of National Civil Defense authorities from the provinces hit by the storm and other officials who evaluated the main damage caused in each territory and the recovery efforts underway.

Col. Miguel Angel Puig, operations chief of the National Civil Defense General Staff, said the zero loss of human life demonstrates the effectiveness of the government’s commitment to preserve the life of its citizens when faced with natural disasters.

According to preliminary statistics offered by Puig, only 19 people were injured, none of whom are in life-threatening conditions. He noted that 467,000 persons were evacuated from their homes, with 61,000 located in shelters. The rest were taken in by family, friends and neighbors. He added that 77 percent of the total evacuees were in Pinar del Rio, the Isla de la Juventud and the two Havana provinces.

The general director of the Union Electrica Co., Vicente La O, said the worst damage to electricity infrastructure occurred on the Isla de la Juventud, and in the Pinar del Rio municipalities of Los Palacios, Consolacion del Sur, Bahia Honda, Candelaria and San Cristobal, located along the path traveled by the center of the hurricane.

The complete system is down on the Isla de la Juventud and practically the entire system will have to be rebuilt. In Pinar del Rio, 136 high-tension towers came down as well as 12 110-volt lines. Currently, more than 500 emergency generators in Pinar del Rio are guaranteeing basic services to the population.

The damage in the capital was considerably less and caused mainly by fallen trees and branches. By Sunday afternoon, almost all evacuees had returned home, gas services had been almost totally restored and 80 percent of the electric circuits were operating, said David Lahera, member of the Provincial Defense Council.

Live telephone conversations took place on the Round Table program with Olga Lidia Tapia Iglesias and Ana Isa Delgado, presidents of the Pinar del Rio and Isla de la Juventud Defense Councils respectively. The two officials gave a run down on the damage caused by the hurricane and noted a spirit of optimism and the population’s confidence in the Revolution, with massive participation in clean up and other recovery activities.


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