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Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy track

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclone of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Classified as the eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane and second major hurricane of the year, Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. While it was a Category 2 storm off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km)). At least 285 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. Sandy developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, quickly strengthened, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually intensified. On October 24, Sandy became a hurricane, made landfall near Kingston, Jamaica, a few hours later, re-emerged into the Caribbean Sea and strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane.

The Government of Cuba posted a hurricane watch for the cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba at 1500 UTC on October 23rd. Only three hours later, the hurricane watch was switched to a hurricane warning. At least 55,000 people had been evacuated principally because of expected flooding before the hurricane impact. On October 25, Sandy hit Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane. Sandy made landfall just west of Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city, as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with the strong eastern eyewall passing directly over the city. The eye of the storm came ashore just west of the city with waves up to 29 feet (9 meters) and a six-foot (2 meter) storm surge that caused extensive coastal flooding.

Reports from the area after the passage of Sandy spoke of widespread damage, particularly to Santiago de Cuba. Throughout the province, 132,733 homes were damaged, of which 15,322 were destroyed and 43,426 lost their roof. Electricity and water services had been knocked out, and most of the trees in the city had either been ripped off their roots or had lost all their leaves. Several Cuban provinces promised to send brigades to help Santiago recover, although officials gave a long list of other towns that suffered devastation. Guantanamo City followed a similar fate to Santiago, with television showing telephone poles and cables down across the city. Several historic buildings in the centre of town were reportedly damaged. Total losses throughout Santiago de Cuba province reached 50mil GBP.

State media has said at least 11 people in Cuba were killed as a result of the storm, and president Raul Castro planned to visit Santiago de Cuba in the coming days. Most of the victims were trapped in destroyed houses. This makes Sandy the deadliest hurricane to hit Cuba since 2005, when Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people.

Hurricane Sandy - Detailed Damage Report
Damages in Santiago de Cuba

The province of Santiago de Cuba was practically devastated after the passing of Hurricane Sandy. Preliminarily it was stated that the nine municipalities of the territory suffered the terrible consequences of Sandy although the biggest losses were reported in Santiago de Cuba city, Palma Soriano, San Luis and Guama.

In Santiago de Cuba city thousands of trees were knocked down, the blocked roads, and caused severe disruptions in electrical networks. Strong, hurricane winds caused damages to 109 grocery shops, 90 bakeries and 43 food markets. Many chicken and pig farms were effected too, while 26.6 tons of food were destroyed.

In a preliminary evalutation, in 8 of the nine municipalities of the region (excluding Santiago de Cuba city) there are 4249 houses coming under total destruction and 34.000 partially damaged.

In agriculture, more than 2600 hectares of bananas were swept out as well as coffee plantations in mountainous areas.

Etecsa (national phone company) reported that there are 8 base stations out of service and the television system is down in the southeastern parts because of damage to the radio relay of the Gran Piedra. Currently, Guama does not have basic telephony services, mobile network and TV.

Some of the Santiago de Cuba municipalities reported cut off areas caused by overflow of rivers, especially in the regions of Guama and Segundo y Tercer Frente. The authorities urged people to excercise extreme measures for the protection of human life.

The motorway that leads to Chivirico (head of the municipality of Guama) is destroyed

Damages in Guantanamo

In the easternmost province of the country, preliminary reports shows damages in the housing and government institutions, mainly the loss of the roofs, and the partial collapse of several buildings.

The damages are substantial in agriculture, in greenhouses, seedlings, roads and other. Electrical and telephone networks were affected by the strong winds of 140 KmPH and measures are taken to restore them.

In Imías, the optical fibre suffered fractures that affected communications. The same happened in Bayate, Limonar, La Escondida and Costa Rica.

The losses have been reported in the coffee harvest in Maisi town and viands plantations in Chutines, a place located on the highway to Caimanera.

Damages in Holguin
The preliminary reports show hundreds of homes with loss of roofs, partial and total collapse of some buildings and significant interruptions of electricity supply.
Damages in other regions

Sandy Hurricane caused less severe damages in Granma province. More than 170.000 people were evacuated in this regions with 4.000 of them placed in the shelters. The greatest damage caused by the hurricane were reported in the electricity service, especially in the municipalities of Guisa, Cauto Cristo Jiguaní, Pilon, Bartolome Maso, Media Luna and Bayamo. At the moment it was estimated that more than half of the population lacked electricity.

In Las Tunas province a partial damages to houses, groceries and schools were reported. Some villages road are cut off due to the flooding caused by Sandy.

Eleven people died as Hurricane Sandy pummeled Cuba, state media reported. Nine deaths occurred in Santiago de Cuba province and two bodies were recovered in Guantanamo state, national media reported, citing civil defense authorities.

Hurricane Sandy - Sequence of Events (Public Advisories)

2012-10-26 08.00 GMT – HURRICANE SANDY LEAVES CUBAN SHORE. ALL WARNINGS DISCONTINUED.

2012-10-25 11.00 GMT – HURRICANE SANDY MAKE A LANDFALL IN CUBA, HITTING SANTIAGO DE CUBA CITY. GUANTANAMO PROVINCE AFFECTED.

2012-10-23 09.00 GMT –CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS CHANGED THE HURRICANE WATCH TO A HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF CAMAGUEY...LAS TUNAS...GRANMA...SANTIAGO DE CUBA...HOLGUIN...AND GUANTANAMO.

2012-10-23 06.00 GMT – GOVERNMENT OF CUBA ISSUES A HURRICANE WATCH FOR PROVINCES OF CAMAGUEY, LAS TUNAS, SANTIAGO DE CUBA, HOLGUIN AND GUANTANAMO.

2012-10-22 07.00 GMT – OFFICIALS IN EASTERN CUBA AND THE BAHAMAS MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF SANDY.

 
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