HAVANA – More than 26,000 of the 1.7 million Cubans who had to evacuate their homes because of Hurricane Irma remain in some kind of temporary lodging, state media said on Friday.
All but 14 percent of evacuees found refuge with family, friends and neighbors.
Work continues on a preliminary estimate of Irma’s toll, the civil defense chief, Gen. Ramon Pardo, said during a meeting of the National Defense Council chaired by President Raul Castro.
The hurricane, which struck Cuba last weekend as a Category 5, is blamed for 10 deaths on the island and damaged thousands of homes, leaving many of them uninhabitable.
Manufacturing facilities are already producing additional cement and tiles to repair damaged roofs, Construction Minister Rene Mesa said in comments cited by Communist Party daily Granma.
More than 21,000 workers are engaged in clearing rubble, repairing roads, bridges and drainage systems, he said.
Irma toppled some 3,600 utility poles and millions of people in Cuba remain without power.
The hurricane battered the island’s northern coast, where plants that supply 70 percent of Cuba’s electricity are located, while the 90 coastal oil wells were damaged by a storm surge as high as 7 meters (23 feet).