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Hurricane Dennis

House destroyed in Cienfuegos
House destroyed in Cienfuegos

On July 7 2005 Hurricane Dennis started to hit south of Cuba and finished its devastating spree over Cuba around midnight of Friday 8th July. It claimed 16 lives and caused damage to 120,000 homes which stood at approximately $1.4 billion.

In a televised appearance, the Cuban leader Fidel Castro stated that if it had passed directly over the capital that total would have increased to $3 billion. He reported that some 1,531,000 people were evacuated throughout the country; 245,106 went into hostels and the rest stayed with relatives.

The Cuban authorities confirmed that 16 people died during the passing of the hurricane: 13 in Granma province, two in Santiago de Cuba and one in Sanctí Spíritus. A total of 120,000 homes were heavily damaged, 15,000 were totally destroyed, 25,000 partially destroyed; 24,000 roofs were completely wrecked and 60,000 partially destroyed.

Santiago de Cuba electricity posts
Santiago de Cuba electricity posts

In the agricultural sector, citrus plantations in the Jagüey Grande area were affected and animals killed, including 73,000 poultry fowl.

It was also announced that 1,025 electricity posts were felled and 21 municipalities were left without power. The Cienfuegos plant was functioning at 5% of its generating capacity and that in Matanzas at 15%.

Due to the lack of electricity 2.5 million people are lacking a direct water supply.

In terms of hotels damaged by the passing of Dennis, the total stands at 21.

President Castro announced that plans for improving the situation of the population include an additional investment of $400 million for foodstuffs.

Venezuela was the first country that helped Cuba after this disaster. It sent boat with electricity towers, electricity materials and fuel, among other resources for the island's recuperation. Since hurricane Dennis heavily dented Cuba 's housing, the prime task was to help those affected to get back their life to normal. In that respect brigades of workers from different sectors had been formed to travel to the hardest-hit areas and help to repair the damages and set the country back in motion. Various types of roofing material had been sent out to the different provinces; there are part of the plan to build 50,000 houses in 2005 as part of a goal of building an average of 100,000 homes per year in the years to follow.

Matanzas province damages
Matanzas province damages

On 11 th July 2005 president Castro established a dialogue with the defence council presidents in each of the most affected areas, out of which the recovery strategy practically emerged. He noted that Cuba had bought 220,000 tons of foodstuffs to supplement supplies in areas affected by the hurricane, as well as for people in the eastern region who have been suffering the effects of a long drought. At the same time, Castro rejected the $50,000 offered by the United States in hurricane aid, and affirmed that even if Washington were to offer one billion dollars, Cuba would not accept it. He said that Cuba does accept a helping hand from countries that are its friends, even when it hasn't asked for such help. "And we do have friends," he emphasized.

 

Photographs of Damage

Bridge on Bayamo city
Bridge on Bayamo city
Car tied to a house in Cienfuegos City
Car tied to a house in Cienfuegos City
House in Cienfuegos destroyed
House in Cienfuegos destroyed
Many trees fall down along the country
Many trees fall down along the country
Agriculture machinery totally destroyed
Agriculture machinery totally destroyed
Buses garage devastated
Buses garage devastated
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cuba hurricanes .org - Cuba Hurricanes, Hurricane Dennis