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Page last updated at 21:06 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 22:06 UK

Hurricane Ike: Cubans' stories

A car along a flooded street in Havana
A car goes along a flooded street in Havana on August 26, 2008

Hurricane Ike has been battering eastern Cuba with giant waves and torrential rain but has weakened slightly since making landfall.

It is just days since Cuba was hit by Hurricane Gustav, which caused heavy rainfall and flooding.

The island is about 1,000km (620 miles) long and Ike has struck at the other end from the capital, Havana.

Here Cuban readers use text messages, emails and phone calls to describe how they are coping and preparing for what comes next.

MIGUEL TORRES ESCALONA, HOLGUIN - BY TEXT

The hurricane passed through Holguin at ten o'clock at night - Category Three.

Winds of more than 150 km. Horrible.

It has devastated the city - its parks. There's no electricity.

I'm worried and I have no communication with my family.

The hurricane is going to pass through most of Cuba. Those were four hours I can't forget.

YANAISY GRANJA SERRANO, CAMAGUEY - BY PHONE

I'm in my aunt's house because my roof has blown off completely and a tree has fallen onto it because of the strong winds from Hurricane Ike.

The storms have been catastrophic here. In Camaguey there are houses without roofs.

There are cables in the streets - the electricity cables have come down. There's no electricity.

We don't have any food and we're all here waiting. There's a lot of rain and flooding as well.

Man rides his bicycle amid rain brought by Hurricane Ike in Camaguey, Cuba
A man rides through rain brought by Hurricane Ike, in Camaguey

There are 10 of us in my aunt's house. I'm here with my two children who are aged five and six. They're terrified.

Even here - in my aunt's house - a part of the roof in the kitchen as gone so water is coming in.

There's no water in the taps and we don't have any food. Yesterday we went out to get food but everything was shut because of the storms.

All we can do is have faith and wait.

ARIANNE RODRIGUEZ BERALLOBRE - BY MOBILE

It's not that bad because the hurricane didn't hit much here. There is a lot of water running down the streets but it's ok.

The wind's very strong but nothing more. There's no damage to the houses, no dead people around here.

Arianne Rodriguez Berallobre
Arianne in Felixstowe taken on her first visit to the UK in August 2008
It's ok. The sun's trying to come out right now, but the wind's very strong.

There are people out on the streets looking for bread or things like that - it's very quiet.

We're in a news blackout - it's something that the state does during hurricanes and cyclones.

There's no power because the wind's very strong - it could be worse. Once the hurricane's gone we'll have power again and we'll be safe then.

We expect things to return to normal maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. The hurricane was not really bad here in the centre of Havana.

YUNIOR MANGUITO BAGUANO, HOLGUIN - BY EMAIL

My province has been the one most affected by Ike. Even the most solid of buildings have come tumbling down like a pack of cards.

By some miracle my house wasn't damaged but hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything.

It will take years to recover from the destruction caused by this series of cyclones.


Other comments from Cuba:

The roof came off my house during the cyclone and the very next day my neighbours came to help. That's solidarity. That's what keeps us going. Cuba will live another day. Nothing on earth will make us give up.
Vidal Cabrera, Pinar del Rio

My country is a disaster area, but we know that we'll keep going and smile again when the storm has died down. It won't be easy. I'll go back to my village and may not find the house I grew up in but I'll hang on to the fact that nothing is more precious than life. Let's pray to Yemaya and Ochun to protect us from everything.
Yirlandy Gil, Sancti Spiritus





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