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Hurricane Kills Five in Cuba

November 06, 2001|From Associated Press

HAVANA — Vast portions of Cuba were still without power and communications Monday after Hurricane Michelle swept across the island, killing at least five people and flooding crops before pulling away to strike the Bahamas.

The hurricane, which killed 12 people in Honduras, Nicaragua and Jamaica last week, lost some strength as it moved off Cuba, and it left Florida virtually untouched.

Michelle swept past Nassau, the Bahamian capital, on Monday with 85-mph winds, flooding houses and cutting power.

When the storm made landfall in Cuba on Sunday, its winds were estimated at 130 mph.

Michelle caused at least 23 homes to collapse in Havana, state television reported, saying that more were expected to crumble as they dried out in the sun. By Monday, the streets of the Cuban capital's colonial district were littered with debris.

Reporters who toured rural parts of Matanzas and Villa Clara provinces east of Havana found hundreds of homes damaged but only a few destroyed.

In the Bahamas, the hurricane unleashed stinging winds and sheets of rain early Monday. More than 12 inches of rain drenched Nassau between 7 a.m. EST Sunday and 2 p.m. Monday, said Basil Dean of the Bahamas Meteorological Office.

There were no reports of deaths in the Bahamas, but Michelle's winds ripped the roofs from several wooden houses and tore down traffic lights.

Power was out for most residents of Andros Island and the main island of New Providence.

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