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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Aftermath of Gustav in Cuba

Gustav destroys homes, sparks flooding in Cuba
By WILL WEISSERT Associated Press Writer

HAVANA (AP) -- Hurricane Gustav smashed tens of thousands of homes, toppled trees and telephone poles and washed out roads in Cuba, but no deaths were reported Sunday as the massive storm roared away from the island.

Gustav made a direct hit on the Isla de la Juventud south of the Cuban mainland as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Saturday with screaming 140 mph (220 kph) winds. It then passed across the country's western tip before heading
into the Gulf of Mexico on a collision course with the southern United States.

The storm damaged or destroyed 86,000 homes and downed 80 electricity towers across the island, said Col. Miguel Angel Puig, head of operations for Cuban civil defense.

Speaking on a government news round-table program, Puig said 19 people were injured, though none gravely. Most of the 250,000 residents who were evacuated to shelters were back home by Sunday evening.

Even with all of the damage, no deaths were reported. Gustav hit western Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds as high as 150 mph. Five miles per hour faster winds would have upgraded Gustav to a Category 5 hurricane. As teh storm crossed the island, the intensity dropped to a Category 3 with 125 mph winds. As the day progressed, winds dropped even further to the current 115 mph even though he passed over some very warm waters.

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Incluso con todo el daño, no se divulgó ningunas muertes. Gustavo golpeó Cuba occidental como huracán de la categoría 4 con los vientos continuos de hasta 150 mph. Cinco kilómetros por hora de vientos más rápidos habrían aumentado a Gustavo a un huracán de la categoría 5. Pues la tormenta cruzó la isla, la intensidad cayó a una categoría 3 con 125 vientos del mph. Mientras que progresó el día, los vientos cayeron incluso más lejos a la corriente 115 mph aunque él pasó sobre algunas aguas muy calientes.

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