Cubans used machetes to hack away thousands of uprooted trees blocking streets in Havana on Friday after a night of roaring winds from Hurricane Charley brought chaos to the city.
Three people were killed in Havana during the hurricane, and four people were injured, one seriously, according to Lt. Col. Domingo Carretero, a civil defense official who spoke on television.
The storm's 105-mph winds snapped trees, downed power lines and ripped off roofs in the Cuban capital and in the surrounding countryside. Government-run television reported the partial collapse of 46 houses in colonial-era Old Havana.
After midnight, at the height of the storm, President Fidel Castro appeared for an hour on a live television broadcast from Cuba's weather center. "We turn our setbacks into victories," he said.
On the western outskirts of the city, which bore the brunt of Charley's pounding, residents were repairing roofless homes and clearing away debris, garbage and branches.
Main thoroughfares remained blocked by fallen trees, and most of the city of 2 million people had no power 12 hours after authorities cut off supplies to avoid electrical accidents.
"It was three hours of terrible, howling winds. We had no electricity, and no television or radio to know what was happening," said Orlando Duque, whose clapboard home in the suburb of La Lisa lost part of its roof.
The State Department announced in a statement that the U.S. Interests Section would give $50,000 "to meet the humanitarian needs of the Cuban people. We also are urging all U.S. non-governmental organizations and religious groups with licenses to export humanitarian goods to Cuba."
The United States also expressed "its solidarity with the Cuban people," the statement said.