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Although needs were being met locally in Cuba after Hurricane Sandy, ShelterBox continues to build relations with the government and in-country partners to enable a rapid response for possible future disasters.


Sandy made landfall in Southeast Cuba on October 25 with winds of about 177 kilometers per hour, only 1.5 kilometers per hour below the status of a major Category 3 hurricane. It damaged around 200,000 houses, including 50,000 that lost their roofs, and destroyed over 15,000 homes, affecting about 1.1 million people, according to the latest United Nations (UN) estimates. At least 11 lives were also lost. 

Cuba is frequently lauded by the UN as being one of the best prepared countries in terms of natural disasters: its highly developed meteorological service, early warning system and regularly practiced drills have probably saved thousands of lives. 

However, buildings were in poor repair before the storm due to lack of funds and materials, and they were therefore vulnerable to damage. Lack of electricity and poor communications have hampered efforts to get reliable information about the full extent of the damage in the Caribbean country. 

ShelterBox Response Team members Beth Mitchell (UK) and Mark Stephenson (UK) have been working with the government, including the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), to coordinate an effective response to the Hurricane Sandy. back