The Cuban government announced Monday, September 11, 2017 that ten people have died in the country as a result of Hurricane "Irma." Seven people died in capital Havana, mainly as a result of building collapses.
Category 4 Hurricane "Irma" approached Cuba late Friday, September 8 (UTC) and started moving over the country's northern coast with its southwestern eyewall around 00:00 UTC on Saturday, September 9.
At 03:00 UTC, Irma made landfall on the Camaguey Archipelago, again as a destructive Category 5 hurricane, and continued moving near and over the northern coast of Cuba at a speed of 20 km/h (13 mph) with winds of 260 km/h (160 mph).
NOAA/GOES-16 imagery (preliminary and non-operational)
"The destructive force of Hurricane Irma lashed our island for more than 72 hours, from the morning of September 8 to Sunday, September 10," Granma.cu reported. "With winds that surpassed at times 250 km/h (155 mph), it crossed the north of the country from Baracoa to the vicinity of Cardenas. However, due to the immense size of the storm, no part of Cuba was freed from its effects."
Cuba suffered severe damage, but its full extent is still not known. Preliminary reports mention damaged and destroyed houses and other infrastructure, electricity network and agriculture. In addition, Irma hit hard some of Cuba's main tourist destinations, but authorities say they will all be rebuilt by the start of the high season.
Some 10 000 people have been evacuated from capital Havana ahead of the storm. However, at least 7 of 10 casualties were from the capital. Other victims were from Matanzas, Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila.
President Castro said the recovery task is immense but Cubans will win the battle.
Featured image: Jardines del Rey Airport, Cayo Coco, Cuba after the passage of Hurricane "Irma" - September 2017. Credit: Granma
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