[Marxism] Earthquake Felt in the Isle of Youth

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 24 05:42:18 MDT 2005

Earthquake Felt in the Isle of Youth

Havana, Oct 24 (AIN) An earthquake with epicenter on the Cayman
Islands was felt in the Isle of Youth this weekend.

The quake, 4.3 on the Richter scale, caused no loss of life or
property. Its epicenter was located at a depth of 17,5 kilometers and
over 112 kilometers southeast of the Isle of Youth, south of Havana.

Experts with the National Seismological Institute said that this is
the twelfth quake felt in Cuban territory this year. Cuban scientists
in the field have developed significant research this year, which
includes the vulnerability and risks of cities and institutions in
the face of earthquakes.

Most quakes felt in Cuba usually occur in the province of Santiago de
Cuba. Eleven seismic zones have been identified in the Cuban
archipelago with the most important one in the area called
Santiago-Baconao, on the southeastern coast.

The most dangerous quakes that have affected Cuba over the past 50
years took place in eastern Camaguey, central Matanzas and western
Pinar del Rio provinces.

A significant earthquake to have affected Cuba occurred in 1880, an
8.0-degree quake that was felt from San Cristobal in western Pinar
del Rio up to Cienfuegos in the central part of the island.

Other similar phenomena took place in 1914, 1953, 1974 and most
recently in 1982. The latter took place in the Jaguey Grande
locality, central Cuba and was classified as a 6.0 degree quake on
the Ritcher scale.

Hurricane Wilma Leaves Cuba Heads for Florida

Havana, Oct 24 (AIN) Wilma is again a category three hurricane on the
five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, still affecting western Cuba is
heading closer to Florida.

The most recent reports from Cuba's Meteorology Institute say that
Wilma is still dangerous for Cuba since its rains will continue to
affect the western and central parts of the island for some time.

Strong 90 and 110 kilometer-per-hour winds will be felt in Havana and
Matanzas provinces over the next few hours with stronger gusts. These
are expected to diminish as Wilma gets farther from the island on

The Meteorology Institute said that coastal flooding will continue to
occur in southern low-lying areas from western Pinar del Rio to
eastern Camaguey provinces, while they will start to occur on the
northern coast of Pinar del Rio and Havana over the next few hours.

Wilma has 185-kilometer-per-hour sustained winds and is moving
northeast at 27 kilometers per hour. This rapid movement will allow
it to reach the western part of the Florida peninsula over the next
few hours.

Strong gusts of wind have been reported in Havana, as well as
85-kilometer-per hour sustained winds during the past three hours.

The Red Cross and Cuban Health Services Work Hand in Hand

Havana, Oct 23 (AIN) The Red Cross is an important element in the
overall preparedness and response to perilous situations in Cuba. In
Havana alone, there are over 200 volunteer operatives collaborating
with the Civil Defense to prevent the loss of life and also assist
the evacuees and any victims of hurricane Wilma.

Their work is never ending. They are active in training and informing
the population before a situation, actively assist the emergency
services during it and, most importantly, do much humanitarian work
attending to the psychological as well as material needs of victims
after disasters.

For example, the first line services designate areas and people at
risk, and organize their evacuation. This experience can be
traumatic, especially for the elderly and children. The members of
the Red Cross are trained to provide essential humanitarian
assistance in those kinds of circumstances.

Equally, in the transference of sick people between facilities, often
it is a Red Cross volunteer who provides a hand to hold if no family
member is available. The expansion of medical facilities means that
many of the journeys that had to be made for specialist treatment,
totally free of charge in Cuba, are no longer necessary.

However, this has not reduced the work of the Red Cross.

Although this International organization, founded in 1863 to tend
wounded troops, is closely associated with medical needs such as the
promotion of blood donations, it also does much humanitarian work for
the victims of traumas including rehabilitation and re-establishment
of communities.

People at Risk from Wilma and Alpha Evacuated in Cuba

Havana, Oct 23 (AIN) More than 693,000 people were evacuated in Cuba
in the face of hurricane Wilma and tropical storm Alpha, said
National Civil Defense Authorities.

The figure included 52,393 people who were taken to safe places
provided with basic services and another 455,781 who found shelter at
neighbors or relatives' homes.

The civil defense system activated 10 provincial civil defense
councils, 126 municipal councils and 1,236 shelters were set up in
schools. More than 100,300 Cubans have been mobilized to guarantee
the implementation of the civil defense measures, which included the
use of more than 4,600 vehicles, 1,960 machines and 469 means of

Meanwhile, 49,529 people were evacuated in the provinces which were
likely to be affected by the tropical storm Alpha. The figure
included 30,046 citizens living in low- lying areas plus 19,483

Other measures in those zones included the movement of thousands of
animals which were taken to safe areas. 

Fidel Castro: Cuba Offers Mexico Medical Assistance

Havana, Oct 23 (AIN) Cuban President Fidel Castro offered medical
assistance for the victims of hurricane Wilma, which hit the Yucatan
Peninsula in Mexico over the past two days.

Fidel participated in an informative round table discussion aired on
Cuban radio and television, which offered detailed information on
hurricane Wilma and tropical depression Alpha.

President Castro said that Cuba is ready to offer the Mexican
government the support it needs after the passage of the storm. Given
the solidarity that exists between the Cuban and Mexican people, it
was a gesture that Cuba was happy to make, he added

Cuba recently created the Henry Reeve medical contingent to assist
victims of disasters and epidemics in any part of the world. Brigades
of that contingent are currently assisting victims of natural
phenomena in Guatemala, Pakistan and several other countries.

The medical contingent was created following the catastrophe caused
by hurricane Katrina last August in the US territory of Louisiana,
where thousands of people badly needed medical assistance after the
passage of that storm; however the US administration never accepted
the presence of the Cuban doctors who were ready to assist the US

During the televised program Fidel Castro exchanged with the head of
the Cuban weather forecast service, Jose Rubiera on how
meteorologists had worked out predictions on the course to be taken
by hurricane Wilma.

Rubiera explained that the specialized staff followed the development
of the natural phenomenon since it was created as well as anticyclone
activity and other meteorological factors in the region.

Fidel recalled that the Flora cyclone back in 1963 killed over 1,200
people and more than 200,000 cattle heads were lost, since there was
not necessary preparations to face natural phenomena or the
reservoirs that exist today, which prevented huge floods from taking

Fidel underscored the decision taken by authorities in western Pinar
de Rio to evacuate the people living in low areas and which are close
to reservoirs, since such decisions help prevent the loss of human

Can any other country protect its population like Cuba does? Fidel
asked and went on to add "we have a well prepared, organized and
conscious people."


Looting Breaks Out in Mexico After Wilma 

ooting Breaks Out in Mexico in Wilma's Wake As Desperate Residents, 
Tourists Search for Food 
By WILL WEISSERT The Associated Press 

CANCUN, Mexico - Mexicans and
stranded tourists, hungry and frustrated after a two-day beating by
Hurricane Wilma, stood in line to buy supplies Sunday or simply
raided grocery or furniture stores, dragging goods from shops ripped
open by the storm.

The hurricane's steady march toward southern Florida meant an end
here to two days of howling winds and torrential rains that shattered
windows, peeled away roofing and sent the ocean crashing into hotel
lobbies. The sun emerged over Mexico's sugar-white Caribbean beaches.

Wilma regained its Category 3 status late Sunday, with sustained
winds of 115 mph, after it returned to open waters and headed toward
southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said. It had weakened
to a Category 2 hurricane after making landfall in Mexico.

In Cancun, chaos took over, as police shot into the air to scare
looters away from a shopping center, and looters responded by
throwing rocks and chunks of concrete.

Downtown, officials feared looters would turn on tourists, so they
quickly evacuated more than 30 foreigners from a downtown area
overrun by people raiding stores. Military officials and police stood
guard outside businesses and set up checkpoints to seize stolen

"It's chaos," said fire official Gregorio Vergara. "They are taking
things all over the city."

One group of residents pushed carts against the boarded-up windows of
a grocery store in an attempt to break in. At a convenience store,
Cancun resident Alex Aguilar took batteries and aspirin.

"The window was broken, so we just went in and got what we wanted,"
he said.

Others waited in long lines at the few stores that were open. Some
American tourists without local currency offered $100 bills for $5
calling cards.

Meanwhile, military aid convoys rolled into the resort town, handing
out bottled water and medical aid. City officials distributed food
packages of rice, beans, crackers and cooking oil to people standing
in lines that stretched for blocks.

Larry Lowman, of Beaufort, S.C., carried away armloads of emergency
supplies for the shelter where he was staying. "It's an expedition to
bring food for everybody," he said.

There was little food left on the isolated island of Cozumel, as
well, making some people anxious.

"Right now, there is nothing to buy on the island," resident Daniela
Ayala told The Associated Press by telephone. "People are in the
streets looking for food, and they are starting to get desperate."

The storm knocked out many of the island's docks, making it difficult
for navy ships to arrive. State officials were trying to clear
airstrips on Cozumel and nearby Isla Mujeres so that planes could
land with aid. President Vicente Fox said the government would send
helicopters, as well.

State officials said at least three people died during the storm: one
by a falling tree and two others when a gas tank exploded. Four badly
decomposed bodies were also found floating in flood waters on
Cozumel, but officials said it was unclear if the deaths were related
to the storm.

Last week, Wilma killed 13 people in Jamaica and Haiti.

It drenched western Cuba with heavy rains and flooded communities
along the coast. Officials had evacuated more than 625,000 people
from their homes in recent days.

Rainfall of up to 15 inches was possible in some parts of the
country, but Wilma was not expected to make landfall, the U.S.
National Hurricane Center said.

President Fidel Castro appeared on a television program to calm
Cubans anticipating increased winds and potential overnight flooding
on the northern coast.

At 8 p.m., Wilma was centered about 170 miles west-southwest of Key
West and moving northeast at about 15 mph, the Hurricane Center said.

As the storm crossed the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said they saw no
evidence of wind shear that they hoped would reduce the hurricane's
intensity before it makes landfall in southwest Florida.

For those in Mexico who endured two days of Wilma's howling winds and
torrential rains, the cleanup began on Sunday. Soldiers used
bulldozers to clear tree branches from roads. Residents waded through
submerged streets to check damage to homes or try to start flooded
cars. Tourists tried to make arrangements to return home.

Dennis Catesby, of Coventry, England, hiked from a downtown shelter
back to his hotel room with some friends to raid the minibar of beer
and supplies. They decided against staying at the hotel, though, and
hiked back to the shelter, stopping only to snap a photo in front of
a smashed, roadside Jacuzzi.

"After three days in a shelter, it was minibar time for us," said
Catesby, who was married in Cancun on Monday. "The beer is going to
be free today."

Fox toured damaged areas on Sunday and said he would ask lawmakers to
budget $1.1 billion in disaster relief funds for 2006, in part to
help Mexico recover from Wilma. He said his main priority was
rebuilding roads and other infrastructure to revive the country's $11
billion tourism industry, which took a devastating blow.

It was unclear when the Cancun airport would be operating again, and
many hotels could take weeks if not months to repair.

As Mexico's military sent amphibious vehicles and federal police
began arriving to keep the peace, the U.S. Embassy dispatched
consular officials to shelters to help tourists prepare to leave. The
U.S. government also offered $200,000 in aid.

In Florida, meanwhile, residents streamed out of the Keys and coastal
communities under mandatory evacuation orders after officials posted
a hurricane warning for the southern part of the state. The Bahamas
also issued a hurricane warning for the northwestern part of the

Also Sunday, the Dominican Republic and Haiti received heavy rains
when Tropical Storm Alpha made landfall, then later weakened into a
tropical depression. Days of rain from Wilma had already swollen
rivers and saturated the soil in the countries, prompting concerns
about flash floods and mudslides.

Officials used the Greek alphabet to name Alpha the record-setting
22nd named storm of the Atlantic season after running all the way
through the 2005 storm name list. The hurricane season ends next

On the Net:

National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or

Copyright C 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures

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