HAVANA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Cuban government, in an unprecedented move, has opened a relief account to receive donations for victims of Hurricane Irma, which hit the Caribbean island last weekend.
The foreign ministry said in a release on Saturday that the account at state-run Banco Financiero Internacional, is open for those wishing to contribute to the recovery of the devastated country.
It suggested that those interested in donating can contact Cuban embassies around the world or the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that multiple messages of solidarity and shipments of humanitarian aid had been received.
Hurricane Irma, considered the worst to hit Cuba since 1932, lashed most of Cuba' s northern coastline during 72 hours, claiming 10 lives and causing major damage to tourism infrastructure.
Irma knocked out the national power grid, damaged numerous homes and led to evacuation of over 2 million people.
In a huge national effort to recover as soon as possible, the authorities mobilized tens of thousands of soldiers, firemen, construction workers, and volunteers.
"These were hard days for our people who, in a few hours, have seen what they have built with so much effort hit by a devastating hurricane," President Raul Castro told the nation on Monday.
"The images of the last hours are eloquent, as is the spirit of resistance and victory of our people that are reborn with each adversity."
Cuba is located along a traditional route for tropical hurricanes in the Caribbean, but local authorities have never before opened an account to receive public donations.