Damage Assessment Begins after Paloma

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES. Nov. 9.- Hurricane Paloma weakened considerably inside Cuban territory late Saturday and early Sunday and is no longer considered a cyclone. With daybreak, assessment now begins of the damage caused to homes, power lines and other infrastructure mainly in Camaguey and neighboring Las Tunas province.

The storm entered Cuban territory near Santa Cruz del Sur, Camaguey as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 MPH early Saturday evening. Once over land, the storm began to weaken and later dissipated at an accelerated rate.

According to the Cuban Meteorology Institute, what’s left of Paloma is now a broad low pressure area that continues over the island in the eastern part of Camaguey Province and western Las Tunas, but is no longer a serious threat.

Civil Defense authorities will now begin their effort to assess the damage caused by the storm, the third major hurricane to hit Cuba in the last 70 days.

When a similar storm hit Santa Cruz del Sur on November 9, 1932 some 3,000 people died. However, this time around, no deaths have been reported, attributed to the island’s early warning system and massive evacuations of hundreds of thousands of people.

The Cuban Meteorology Institute said at 6:00 a.m. that sea swells would continue on the south coast of Camaguey to Guantanamo, gradually lessening throughout Sunday.