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More than 180,000 Evacuees in Camaguey Return Home
Close to 240,000 people living in flood-risk areas were evacuated in Camaguey, including residents from the coastal town of Santa Cruz del Sur, who were taken to shelters in the city of Camaguey.

Paloma made landfall as a category 3 on Saturday evening in Santa Cruz del Sur, located in the south east coast of the province. The storm caused sea flooding of around 1.5 km inland (1 mile), destroying hundreds of houses, while the rest were severely damaged.

Civil Defense authorities announced Sunday the beginning of the recovery phase for the cities of Santa Cruz del Sur, Najasa and Guaimaro, as reported Granma newspaper.

Once again it was homes that received the majority of damage in Santa Cruz del Sur, Najasa, Camaguey and Amancio Rodriguez in the neighboring province of Las Tunas. Several towns are without electricity and telephone services, and road infrastructure was damaged especially in the coastal areas.

The national civil defense system across all levels handled the situation effectively with no human loss to mourn. Vehicles and trains were used to evacuate 1.2 million people in less than 48 hours. However, the damage left by Hurricane Paloma can't be underestimated. Added to personal damage and that to infrastructure are losses in the tourism industry due to cancelled flights. The agriculture sector, struggling from a brutal hurricane season, sustained another hard blow.

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