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Cuba Says Four Died In Hurricane; Economy Suffered ‘Grave Damage’

November 21, 1985

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Hurricane Kate killed at least three people and severely damaged Cuba’s sugar and banana crops in its five-hour dash across the island nation, the government news agency reported Wednesday.

The bodies of three people had been recovered and a fourth person was missing and presumed dead, Prensa Latina reported one day after the storm knocked out electricity, gas, television and telephone service, uprooted trees and battered the waterfronts.

Seventy percent of electricity users in Havana, the capital of 2 million people, were without service Wednesday, said the agency, whose reports were monitored in Mexico City. Service was being slowly restored and the government said 50 percent of the damaged lines could be repaired within 48 hours.

The news agency said that ″sugar production is one of the businesses most affected by the cyclone.″ The damage, it said, will force changes in harvesting the 1985-86 crop, which was already under way in some areas.

Winds reaching 115 mph uprooted plants, which will reduce yields and make it difficult to use machinery in some areas, Prensa Latina said.

Banana plantations also were damaged.

Among the affected industrial facilities was the Nico Lopez oil refinery on the outskirts of Havana, the news agency said.

Prensa Latina identified the dead as Amado Villamil Marcos, 30; Julia Jimenez Machado, 47; and Nilo Pereira Perez, 18. Manuel Ruvinet Robles, 25, was presumed dead but his body has not been recovered, it said.

It gave no other details about the victims.

In previous dispatches, the news agency has said a number of people were injured, but gave no totals.

Update hourly