Hurricane Irma tears along the north coast of Cuba

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Damage left by Hurricane Irma in Yaguajay, Cuba. Photos: Oscar Alfonso Sosa

SANCTI SPÍRITUS, Cuba — Hurricane Irma left substantial damage and destruction in its wake in the north of the central province of Sancti Spíritus as it tore along the north coast of Cuba on Saturday.

Roberto Fajardo, head of the Management Group, in the Defence Council in the province said that, according to the first reports received, there are many homes affected, in addition to partial and total landslides.

A number of business and social facilities suffered structural damage from the impact of heavy rains and strong winds, Fajardo added.

The electrical and telephone systems were also affected, and in the streets of the provincial capital several light poles as well as a large number of trees were blown over by the wind, blocking different streets and avenues.

The district of Yaguajay, the closest to Irma in the province of Cordoba, has also suffered a lot of damage to the housing stock, with more than 40 percent of its homes in poor condition.

Freddy Ruiz, a specialist in the Provincial Meteorological Centre, said that on Saturday afternoon in the city of Sancti Spíritus sustained winds with tropical storm force were recorded between 63 and 118 kilometers per hour, with gusts up to 130 kilometers per hour.

Yusliadys Lorenzo Coca, an official of Water Resources in the province, said that from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, more than 100 millimeters of rainfall was reported in several places, with Topes de Collantes in Trinidad, and Banao in Sancti Spíritus recording the highest accumulated with 173.7 and 164 millimeters respectively.

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