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Hurricane Kills Five in Cuba

November 5, 2001

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HAVANA (AP) _ Hurricane Michelle whipped through Cuba overnight, killing at least five people, uprooting crops and knocking out power, authorities said Monday. The storm later weakened somewhat, brushing Florida with its outer winds and then hitting the Bahamas.

A day after hitting Cuba with 130 mph winds, Michelle swept past the Bahamas capital of Nassau on Monday with 85 mph winds, flooding houses and cutting power.

The storm, which also killed 12 people in Honduras, Nicaragua and Jamaica last week, left Florida virtually untouched. A tropical storm warning was lifted Monday afternoon for the Atlantic coast from the Upper Keys the West Palm Beach area. A gale warning remained posted from that area to just south of Cape Canaveral.

Cuba’s National Defense confirmed the five deaths during an early afternoon broadcast on state television.

Four were killed in building collapses: a 32-year-old woman in the Havana neighborhood of Arroyo Grande; a 39-year-old man in the provincial capital of Matanzas; and a 33-year-old man and a 98-year-old woman in Jaguay Grande, in central Matanzas province. A 60-year-old man drowned in Playa Larga on the coast of Matanzas, where Michelle made landfall in Cuba on Sunday afternoon.

The storm caused 23 homes to collapsed in Havana, state television reported, saying that more were expected to crumble as they dried out in the sun.

Electricity remained shut down across the western half of the island. The 750,000 people who had been evacuated before the storm still had not been allowed to return home by early Monday afternoon.

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