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Steven Maxwell


Monday 8th September 2008, 09:20 London

Cuba hit by force of Hurricane Ike

Caribbean nation could be set for further crop losses after Hurricane Ike slammed into its northeast coast

Cuba hit by force of Hurricane Ike

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Cuba is braced for a second wave of crop losses after Hurricane Ike smashed into the northeast coast of the island, less than a week after Hurricane Gustav devastated banana and citrus plantations in the country.

According to media reports, the Category 3 hurricane made landfall in Cuba early this morning (8 September) and is expected to run the length of the island, threatening crops and the country’s historic capital, Havana.

Although weather forecasters believe the hurricane will weaken during the course of the day, the Cuban government has deployed workers to try to protect crops and evacuate tourist sites.

The latest weather alert comes after Cuba suffered “a severe blow” to key crops when Hurricane Gustav hit the Caribbean nation last week, causing major losses to banana, citrus and avocado plantations in the province of Pinar del Rio and on La Juventud island.

Government minister Maria del Carmen Pérez told official news agency Prensa Latina that although the damage had been severe, the authorities would work to recover as much of the affected crops as possible.

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