9 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma disaster in USA, Caribbean

  1. Tuesday 12th September

    posted by Morning Star in World

    CUBA’S capital Havana and the US city of Miami were counting the cost yesterday after Hurricane Irma flooded both with seawater.

    The deadly tropical storm, the strongest since records began, swept inland across the US state of Florida towards Georgia and beyond, weakening to a category-one storm, but still with winds of 85mph.

    Irma made landfall in Florida on Sunday at Cudjoe Key, inundating much of central Miami with seawater swept out of the city’s bays and toppling two static construction cranes there and one in nearby Fort Lauderdale.

    Yesterday, the Cuban National Civil Defence general staff said 10 people had died in the disaster — seven in Havana and one each in Matanzas, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila provinces.

    At least 25 people had already been killed as the monster storm swept across the Caribbean islands. Much of Miami remained underwater yesterday and 3.5 million homes and businesses were left without power.

    In Cuba, the storm sent huge waves crashing over Havana’s Malecon sea wall, flooding the city up to a third of a mile inland.

    Photos taken on Sunday showed locals wading waist-deep — or swimming — through the city streets, sharing food and drink with one another, recovering their belongings and beginning the work of cleaning up as rescue teams fanned out across the city to aid residents.

    The Jose Marti Anti-Imperialist Platform building, across the street from the US embassy, was badly damaged, with a classic Lada saloon car picked up and hurled into it by the sheer force of the storm.

    In the US, President Donald Trump declared the hurricane a federal emergency, freeing up funds as some seven million people were told to flee.

    Meanwhile Congress is mulling over a Trump administration Bill that will slash the budget of disasters agency FEMA by nearly $900 million.

    Today French President Emmanuel Macron is due to fly on a cargo plane loaded with supplies to the colonies of St Martin and St Barts, whose residents have angrily accused the Paris government of abandoning them.

    Nine people died on French St Martin and four in the neighbouring Dutch territory of St Maarten.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-a5b5-Irma-batters-Cuba-and-Florida-coast#.Wbfr1cZpEdU

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  4. Wednesday 13th September 2017

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    CUBAN President Raul Castro vowed on Monday that the country would recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma.

    Mr Castro said the widespread damage from the monster storm, the strongest since records began, was still being assessed after Irma “battered our island” from Friday to Sunday.

    Despite well-organised civil-defence efforts 10 people died, seven in the capital Havana, where waves topped the famous Malecon sea wall and flooded city streets.

    “The days that are coming will be ones of much work, during which the strength and indestructible confidence in the revolution of Cubans will again be demonstrated,” the president said.

    “This is not a time to mourn but to construct again that which the winds of Irma attempted to destroy,” in the spirit of late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

    Mr Castro said the early reports showed a heavy impact on homes, the electrical grid, agriculture and tourist facilities.

    “These have been difficult days for our people, who, in a few hours’ time, have seen what was constructed with great effort hit by a devastating hurricane.”

    But, he said: “In these difficult circumstances, the unity of Cubans has prevailed.”

    Agriculture Ministry command post head Fernando Velazco said the storm caused severe damage to livestock and crops, including 71,000 chickens killed and 5,000 hectares of fields flattened.

    In the eastern city of Holguin, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero echoed Mr Castro’s pledge that the industry would be back on its feet in time for high season.

    He praised workers and managers for keeping more than 2,000 holidaymakers safe during the emergency.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4a74-Castro-Cuba-will-recover-from-Irma#.WbkTHsZpEdU

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  5. Pingback: Hurricane Irma destruction | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Wednesday 13th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    CUBA has often provided a graphic systemic contrast in how a socialist society reacts to human suffering compared with the conduct of more affluent capitalist states.

    Its military volunteers flew to Angola in the 1970s to help defend the country’s independence against invasion by apartheid South Africa’s armed forces while the US and European Union stood by, profiting from their investments that exploited South Africa’s oppressed black workers.

    Cuban medical teams responded without drama to countless overseas disasters — such as earthquakes in Haiti and Pakistan or the Ebola epidemic in West Africa — and have established or improved health systems in dozens of developing countries.

    Their literacy teams and sporting coaches work across the globe in a spirit of solidarity.

    The Latin American School of Medicine in Havana provides free tuition for medical students from the region — and even from deprived areas of the US — in return for their agreement to provide the fruits of their training to poor people in their own countries as a service rather than as a means of self-enrichment.

    Even as Cuba prepared to withstand the violent assault of Hurricane Irma — its category-five status the highest to hit the island for at least 90 years — the government’s thoughts were with its neighbours.

    No fewer than 750 medical professionals flew out to provide solidarity assistance to six regional states — five in the Commonwealth — Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti.

    Contrast that forward planning with our own government’s tardy response — shamed equally by France and the Netherlands — and the belated dubious gesture of dumping Boris Johnson on the region.

    Irma’s power surpassed even the expectations of Cuba’s civil defence staff , forcing its flood waters deeper inland, devastating housing, tourism facilities, the infrastructure and agriculture.

    Despite all precautions, 10 Cubans died during the three days that Irma laid waste to the island’s eastern and northern coasts.

    President Raul Castro has pledged that national unity, inspired by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s historical example of refusing to accept defeat, will inspire Cubans to rebuild their country. He insists that the crucial revenue-earning tourist industry will be restored before high season in less than two months.

    Self-reliance is Cuba’s watchword, but solidarity cannot be a one-way street. It will be “very important for the Cuban people, especially over the coming months,” as Cuban ambassador Teresita Vicente told the Morning Star yesterday.

    Reconstruction, hard as it is, is rendered yet more difficult by “Hurricane Trump’s” heightened aggression at the behest of the Florida-based anti-Cuban lobby.

    The Cuba Solidarity Campaign relief fund publicised in our paper today ( http://mstar.link/IrmaAppeal ) will have a dual capacity in raising material solidarity for Cuba and drawing attention to the positive role played by this socialist island in an ocean of imperialist hostility.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c516-Cuba-puts-the-West-to-shame#.WblF7MZpEdU

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