Countries assess the damage as Gustav winds down

More than 100 people were killed as Hurricane Gustav smashed through the Caribbean, but rebuilt levees in the US city of New Orleans appeared to hold off a repeat of the flooding caused by Katrina three years earlier.

Cuba said that more than 90,000 houses were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Gustav tore through the western province of Pinar del Rio. No deaths were reported in the country.

Oil companies shut down nearly all production around New Orleans, which normally pumps a quarter of US oil output and 15% of its natural gas. But reports showing little damage to energy infrastructure helped oil prices fall to a five-month low.

Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme told Reuters on Monday that more damaging weather extremes were in line with forecasts by the UN Climate Panel. "As you watch the hurricane season in the Atlantic, as we watch the cyclones and the flood events in India, clearly we have more reason than ever to be concerned about the unfolding of patterns that the IPCC has forecast," he said.

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