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Haiti's toll from Sandy at 51, Cuba eyes cleanup
by Staff Writers
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Oct 28, 2012

EU pledges aid after Hurricane Sandy damage
Brussels (AFP) Oct 28, 2012 - The European Union said Sunday it was ready to support recovery efforts for Caribbean residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, after the storm killed 59 people and began bearing down on the United States, where residents were bracing for a so-called "Frankenstorm".

"We have been profoundly touched by the news of death and devastation caused by the passage of Hurricane Sandy through the northern part of the Caribbean," said a joint statement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and EU commissioner for humanitarian aid Kristalina Georgieva.

"The European Union stands ready to provide support in the recovery efforts," the statement added, referring to affected countries Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

Pope Benedict XVI also offered his solidarity to the region during his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer.

"I invite everyone to prayer and solidarity to ease the pain of the victims' families and help the thousands of homeless," the pope said.

After leaving 59 people dead, mainly in Cuba and Haiti, Hurricane Sandy is now headed toward the eastern US and is expected to make landfall early Tuesday, leaving residents and emergency officials bracing for further damage.

Hurricane Sandy's tear across the Caribbean left 51 people dead in Haiti, while another 15 people were still missing after the deadly storm, officials said Sunday.

The earlier toll had reached 44 dead in the Americas' poorest nation, which was socked with heavy rains, driving winds and flooding in areas where thousands are in refugee camps.

The deaths in Haiti, still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, drove up the overall death toll from the hurricane to 66 even before it reached the United States, where forecasters have predicted devastating impacts when it crashes ashore early Tuesday.

In Cuba, among the Caribbean nations harder hit by the storm system, President Raul Castro inspected damage in the central provinces of Villa Clara and Sancti Spiritus, official state media reported Sunday.

"We have had a major hurricane, a little Flora in the center of the country," Castro was quoted as saying in state media ahead of a visit to even harder hit Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's second largest city.

Hurricane Flora was one of the deadliest to hit Cuba in the 20th century, killing about 1,200 people in 1963.

Sandy killed 11 people in Cuba -- nine in Santiago de Cuba and two in Guantanamo, authorities said. The last time it was hit by such a deadly storm was Dennis, which killed 16 in July 2005.


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