Cuba reports severe crop losses from Tropical Storm Andrea

HAVANA (AFP) - Tropical Storm Andrea caused severe crop losses in western Cuba when it raked the island on its way north to the United States, official media said on Saturday.

The Communist Party newspaper Granma said the storm also caused damage to more than 1,900 houses and inundated 437 others this week and last week, mainly in Pinar del Rio, a prime tobacco growing area for Cuba's famed cigars.

"Although the total damage has not yet been quantified, agriculture stands out at a glance as the most affected sector, with numerous plantations flooded throughout the territory," it said.

The storm moved over the Gulf of Mexico and then up the US East Coast this week.

No longer a tropical storm, Andrea still was packing winds of 72 kmh early on Saturday as it headed north-eastward along the US eastern seaboard, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said.