10 people killed in Cuba by Hurricane Irma

View of damages after the passage of Hurricane Irma, in Cojimar neighborhood in Havana, on Sept 10, 2017.
View of damages after the passage of Hurricane Irma, in Cojimar neighborhood in Havana, on Sept 10, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HAVANA (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed as Hurricane Irma ripped through Cuba over the weekend, the country's civil defence organisation said on Monday (Sept 11).

"The unfortunate loss of 10 human lives has been reported so far" in several parts of the island, including Havana, the agency said in a statement.

The civil defence organisation said the causes of the deaths ranged from electrocution to drowning, building collapse and a balcony falling on a bus.

Some of the victims had ignored instructions to evacuate, it said.

Irma hammered Cuba with winds up to 150 kilometres per hour in Havana, with an unprecedented storm surge swamping parts of the capital and leaving many people waist-deep in water.

The storm "seriously" damaged the centre of the island with winds up to 256 kilometres per hour, according to Cuban state media.

Authorities said they evacuated more than a million people overall as a precaution.

The hurricane killed at least 25 people earlier on its path across the Caribbean.

Irma weakened early on Monday to a tropical storm as it continued on a northward path through Florida.