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Hurricane Irma's trail of destruction in Cuba leaves 10 dead

12 Septembre 2017

At least ten people have lost their lives in Cuba after Hurricane Irma passed over the northern portion of the Caribbean island over the weekend.

A man carries a child on his shoulders as he walks on a flooded street in Havana, after the passing of Hurricane Irma in Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

On September 5, Hurricane "Irma" reached category 5, the maximum on Sapphire-Simpson scale, and battered Cuba near the island Cayo Romano in the north of the central province of Camaguey. The hurricane - the first Category 5 storm to make landfall in Cuba since 1932 - tore off roofs, felled trees and downed electricity poles, leaving millions without power and water.

Before hammering Cuba, the hurricane raged through the Caribbean and seriously damaged Puerto Rico as well as islands controlled by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. Evacuees were warned to expect long lines and no running water at the airport. A French military ship was scheduled to arrive Tuesday with materials for temporary housing. Eight of the territory's 11 pharmacies were destroyed, and Guadeloupe was sending medication. More than one million people were evacuated from flood-prone areas.

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Seoul estimated the blast's yield at 50 kilotons, more than three times the size of the bomb detonated over Hiroshima in 1945. That could have major reverberations: China is the largest trading partner of both the North and the United States.

French President Emmanuel Macron was scheduled to arrive Tuesday in St. Martin to bring aid and fend off criticism that he didn't do enough to respond to the storm. The U.S. government said it was sending a flight to the island Monday as well to evacuate its citizens.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the "whole government is mobilized" to help end the pillaging that hit the island in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Seawater penetrated as much as a half-kilometre inland in places.

Hector Pulpito recounted a harrowing night at his job as night custodian of a parking lot that flooded five blocks from the sea in Havana's Vedado neighbourhood. "Metal roofs went flying".

The Jardines del Rey airport serving the northern keys was destroyed, the Communist Party newspaper Granma reported, tweeting photos of a shattered terminal hall littered with debris.

Hurricane Irma's trail of destruction in Cuba leaves 10 dead