Western Cuba bore the full brunt of Hurricane Gustav’s force as the storm swept across the Caribbean island.
Gustav was reduced to a Category Three storm after its 230-kilometre per hour winds battered buildings and felled trees and flattened crops.
Some 250,000 people were evacuated, while more than three million people across the island are without electricity.
The Cuban weather service said one gust of wind was measured at 340 kilometres per hour, the highest ever recorded.
The worst damage occurred in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where more than 80 people died.
Gustav is now heading across the oilfields of the Gulf of Mexico, which were badly hit by Hurricane Katrina three years ago. Most have been evacuated and shut down.
Weather experts are warning that another tropical storm, dubbed “Hanna”, is brewing in the Atlantic.