Havana: Cuban President Raúl Castro said that Hurricane Sandy dealt a "really hard blow" to the eastern province of Santiago, the area of the island most affected by the storm.
"It was a really hard blow. It was a strong hurricane that developed rapidly. The reality exceeds everything that the press and television photos can show: Santiago is shocked, it seems to be a bombed city," said Castro during an exchange with area residents.
"We`re going to get through this. You are battle-hardened people. We`ve known that for more than half a century," added Castro in his chat with the residents of Santiago, which is considered to be the cradle of the Cuban revolution.
Regarding the recovery process, Castro "emphasised maintaining the principle that nobody be left unprotected, for which each specific case needs to be evaluated and immediately reacted to", a daily added.
The President said that people who have sufficient incomes should acquire the materials to repair their homes and, in situations where that is not the case, the government will authorise a loan or will provide subsidies.
Sandy struck eastern Cuba last Thursday, leaving 11 people dead on the island and substantial damage in its wake.
The devastation in that part of the country includes tens of thousands of houses partially or totally destroyed, severe damage to the electric power grid and telephone lines and significant damage to crops.