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  • A man works at the terrace of a building in which the facade collapsed during the passage of Hurricane Irma in downtown Havana, Cuba.

    A man works at the terrace of a building in which the facade collapsed during the passage of Hurricane Irma in downtown Havana, Cuba. | Photo: Reuters

The most affected centers were that of a record label, Egrem, in addition to the library in Ciego de Avila.

Cuba's Vice Minister of Culture, Guillermo Solenzal, says Hurricane Irma has damaged 211 cultural facilities across the country.

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Speaking to the reporters, Solenzal said the storm, which struck the island two weeks ago, inflicted the worst destruction in the areas of Villa Clara, Camaguey, Matanzas, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Havana.

The two cultural centers to feel the most impact were the record label, Egrem, in Cienfuegos, and the library in Ciego de Avila, which lost 80 percent of its collection.

While the Lezama Lima house in Havana, which homes the works of the Cuban writer and poet Jose Lezama Lima, was severely flooded.

Gladys Collazo, President of Cuba's National Heritage Council, is coordinating efforts to desalinize any affected documents there.

"At this moment they are dry and well protected. There was no loss of heritage," said Collazo, who also highlighted the protection work that is being carried out at the Ernest Hemingway Museum.

Rolando Ortega Alvarez, director of the National Center of Art Schools, reported that there is no significant damage to the 37 schools belonging to the National Center, and 14 of them are already functioning as normal.

The Carpa Trompoloco cultural center, in Havana, where circuses are often held, lost a part of its cover, while the Mella theater, also in Havana, suffered from extensive flooding.

Irma’s 290 kilometer per hour winds have also caused severe damage to Cuba’s housing, agriculture, and electro-energetic systems.

The country has so far received supplies and monetary support from Venezuela, Bolivia, Vietnam, Suriname, Panama and Russia.

Despite the internal devastation, Cuba has dispatched 771 physicians to several Caribbean islands in the wake of Irma's destruction.

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