Thursday, September 04, 2008

News From Cuba: hurricane Gustav damage.

 

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release

September 4, 2008

For More Information Contact: Jessica Castro, Tel: ( 305) 884-0441,  jessica@echocuba.org

 

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ECHOcuba Acts in Response to Hurricane Gustav

 

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On August 30th, Hurricane Gustav crashed across the Isle of Youth and then the western Cuban mainland as a powerful Category 4 storm with blasts of wind up to 211 miles per hour, leaving widespread destruction and injuries but no reported deaths. The government media called it the worst storm in more than 50 years.

According to the Cuban media, damage to agriculture was massive. More than 32,000 acres of crops were ruined, including 7,239 acres of grain and nearly 1,500 of fruit. Urban farms lost 140 tons of crops. The worst devastation was in the eastern half of the Pinar del Rio province, where 6,000 homes collapsed completely and 11,000 homes in San Cristóbal were damaged. It is also being reported that about 100,000 homes in total were affected. For more information on damages reported please see attached Fact Sheet.

ECHOcuba's associates in the affected areas report that food items such as milk, proteins, oil for cooking, and potable water are the greatest in need. They are also in need of vitamins, personal hygiene products, and blankets.

Currently, ECHOcuba is providing assistance to the victims by collaborating with a network of independent Evangelical Protestant Christian conventions with churches throughout western Cuba . These independent conventions can provide verifiable delivery and distribution of supplies to victims of this disaster.

 

Donations sent to ECHOcuba will be forwarded under a United States Treasury Department (OFAC) License to the network of conventions. These monetary donations will be used entirely for this urgent need and will be of great help to the victims of this disaster. All donations are tax deductible. If you are interested in making a donation please note that ECHOcuba is accepting aid marked "For Cuba Gustav Relief".  You can send checks to ECHOcuba at P.O. Box 546135 , Miami , Fl 33154, or donate directly through www.echocuba.org.

 

 

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FACT SHEET

Damage reported in Cuba

Hurricane Gustav

 

* Regarded as the most severe hurricane that has struck Cuba in the past 50 years

* Affected the Island of Youth and Pinar del Rio Province .

*Some 250,000 people in total were evacuated in Havana province, the Island of Youth , Southern Matanzas province, Pinar del Río province, and Havana capital City, either to shelters or to relatives in safer areas.

*Some 147 shelters were activated.

* According to the Vice Minister of the Ministry for Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (MINVEC), the Isla de la Juventud is the most affected and suffered significant damage and has needs in the various sectors of eclectic services, communications, education, hospitals and shelter.

*According to the Vice Minister, at least 90,000 people have been affected in the Isla de la Juventud. In Pinar del Rio , the centre of the province was the most affected which is also the most populated.

*The Vice Minister estimates that approximately 400,000 people in total have been affected.

*Assistance would be needed for the provision of electricity services, principally in the Isla de la Juventud. While the electrical plant is working in Isla de la Juventud, means and materials to distribute the electricity are destroyed and cables and posts are needed. There is no need for technical experts as they are available in country and have been mobilized.

*In Pinar del Rio , there is a need for roofing of houses (also for the Isla de la Juventud), again mainly for materials to repair roofing such as tools and tiles.

 



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