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Russia to send humanitarian aid to hurricane-hit Cuba

MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian emergencies ministry said on Tuesday it would send four planes with humanitarian aid to Cuba, hit by a devastating hurricane over the weekend.

"At the Russian president's request, the emergencies ministry will send four cargo planes with tents for 5,000 people, construction materials, food and essentials supplies," a source in the ministry said.

The first two planes are scheduled to take off for Cuba on Wednesday.

On Saturday hurricane Gustav swept through Cuba with winds reaching 300 km p/h (186 mph) as it hit the Isla de la Juventud, in the south of the Cuban mainland.

The storm later swept through the province of Pinar del Rio on the country's western tip, damaging around 86,000 houses and leaving much of the region without electricity.

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