China to provide aid to Cuba after hurricanes

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HAVANA, Oct 18, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- China will provide a batch of construction materials to Cuba to help it repair houses damaged by hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike", according to an agreement signed Friday by the two sides.

The agreement was inked Friday by Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Zhao Rongxian and Cuban Foreign Investments and Economic Collaboration Minister Marta Lomas.

The batch of galvanized zinc tile, used to repair roofs, was worth some 11 million yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars).

Hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike", which lashed the Caribbean island country on Aug. 30 and Sept. 8 respectively, have resulted in an economic loss of 5 billion U.S. dollars.

Some 500,000 houses, 30 percent of the country's harvest and the civil infrastructure were also destroyed by the hurricanes.

Following the disasters, the Chinese government has provided aid to Cuba twice, with a total value of 1.3 million U.S. dollars.