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Cuba laments the death of seven people during the passing of hurricane Ike
An official report by the Cuban National Civil Defense Council highlights the efforts taken in the evacuation of more than 2.5 million people by way of 10,000 transportation vehicles, noting that there was not one single accident reported.

The seven lives lost during the hurricane were not direct consequencesof Ike, but of failures to observe strict measures set out by civil defense authorities, the report reads and includes a case-by-case list of each incident as follows:

Pascual Villafaña Rivera, 35, Camaguey, who late at night left the home where he had been evacuated to and returned to his residence which didn't provide adequate security. Upon arriving home, a tree fell on the house collapsing a wall that fell on Rivera.

Carmelina Dieguez Santiesteban, 74, Holguin, was living in a very vulnerable house and refused the offer from local authorities to evacuate her to a safer place. Attempts at persuasion failed as she insisted in remaining in her home. Winds knocked down her house, causing her death.

Antonio Mendoza Peña, 55, Santiago de Cuba. He left a neighbor's home where he was safe despite warnings not to do so. He walked towards a swollen stream, which swept him away and caused his death by drowning.

Pedro Corso Soto, 76, and Angel Sanchez Cabello, 35, Villa Clara, were taking down a home antenna when the hurricane winds were blowing. The antenna had fallen on an electrical line and the two were electrocuted and died instantly.

Pedro Pablo Gutierrez Cervantes, 55, was trapped below the rubble after the collapsing of an old, three-story building along Havana's malecon seawall avenue. In the preliminary investigation on the cause of the incident, it was learned that Gonzalez Cervantes and his family were evacuated on time and instead of waiting for authorization, returned to the building where they lived, where the regrettable accident occurred.

Carlos Velazquez Perez, 53, resident of Puerto Padre, Las Tunas, participated as a member of the evacuation committee. When he finished his effort on the night of Sunday, September 7, he went home to rest, took a pillow and fell asleep under his bed. When the strong winds came, the wall being built on the second floor of his neighbors' house fell on top of him causing his death. His body was found by a nephew on Wednesday, September 10, when he went to visit.

Cuba's Civil Defense System, recognized worldwide for its effectiveness to confront natural disasters, guarantees protection to the entire population and to provide the necessary economic resources.

The Civil Defense’s report concludes noting the importance of abiding by the measures established by the Civil Defense in an orderly manner to prevent these painful losses and the mourning of the families involved.


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