A boy amd a woman walk next to remains of houses destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Baracoa, Cuba, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
HAVANA, Nov.1 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Matthew in eastern Cuba causes over 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in damages and over 38,800 collapsed houses, the island's official NTV said Tuesday citing government sources.
During a meeting of the Civil Defense Council in the southeastern province of Guantanamo, a preliminary calculation of the devastation caused by the hurricane is estimated at roughly 2.58 billion U.S. dollars.
The Category Four hurricane struck Guantanamo on Oct. 4, leaving behind nearly 39,000 wholly or partially collapsed houses, in addition to severe damage to agriculture and electrical and communications services.
The hurricane is considered the worst to hit the Caribbean nation, and a few days after its passage the Cuban government announced its decision to finance 50 percent of the price of the construction materials for the people whose houses were damaged.
The island's authorities announced a grace period of one year to the farmers who cannot fulfill their credit repayments.
The private sector in the hard-hit areas also received another three-month grace period for tax payments.
The island received immediately support from other nations, including three shipments of humanitarian aid sent by its main political and economic ally, Venezuela, while the United Nations Central Response Fund Emergency will contribute 5.3 million dollars to the recovery.
Despite the economic damage, the storm did not leave behind any casualties due to timely action taken by the authorities, including the evacuation of more than 179,000 people to safe areas.
Hurricane Matthew left over 800 dead in Haiti and more than 10 in the United States.