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Recovery Efforts Begin in Havana and Throughout Cuba in Wake of Hurricane Irma

Havana, September 11 (RHC-Granma) -- Vice President of the Council of State and President of the Havana Provincial Civil Defense Council, Mercedes López Acea, called for all means and resources to be employed in recovery efforts, during a working meeting held yesterday, Sunday, to outline the actions underway in the capital.

It was reported that in most of capital’s municipalities, work had begun on sanitation, tree pruning, waste and debris collection, the cleaning of basements, among other tasks; involving construction and agriculture enterprises, communal services, hydraulic resources and Revolutionary Armed Forces units.

López, also first Party secretary in Havana, noted the guaranteed human and material resources for these efforts, and explained that the Havana coastline would be the priority area to begin with, as well as roads on which the restoration of the electricity supply depends. Meanwhile, Major General Onelio Aguilera Bermúdez, head of the Western Army, referred to the importance of each institution and citizen participating in the clean-up efforts in their workplaces and homes.

Speaking to Granma and the Cuban News Agency, Jesús Samón Leyva, director of the Havana Electricity Company, explained that with the improvement of weather conditions, work had begun to determine the state of the electrical grid.

Despite the fact that Irma affected the power supply in the capital - particularly in the municipalities of Habana del Este, Playa, Plaza de la Revolución, Boyeros and Guanabacoa - 50 of the 302 distribution circuits in the capital are ready to start provide power, following the recovery of thermoelectric plants, where efforts are ongoing to gradually restore the power supply to all municipalities. In addition, Leyva noted that areas which depend on electricity for the running water supply have been prioritized.

Although around 400 educational centers were affected in some way or another by Irma, classes are set to resume this Tuesday in all centers with the necessary conditions, López noted; as such it is imperative that in all municipalities the damages to these centers are repaired in the shortest possible time.

Early Monday morning, it was officially reported that 10 people had lost their lives in the fury of Hurricane Irma. The deaths took place in the capital, Havana, Matanzas, Camaguey and Ciego de Ávila. A number of the deaths were attributed to the refusal to evacuate their homes as instructed by Cuba's Civil Defense.

Edited by Ed Newman
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