Nearly 20,000 evacuated in Cuba flooding

Heavy rains caused a river in eastern Cuba to overflow its banks, flooding highways and more than 2,000 homes, and leading authorities to evacuate nearly 20,000 people, state media said Wednesday. Severe flooding was also reported in the neighboring Caribbean islands of Grenada and Jamaica. There were no immediate reports of deaths on any of the three islands. The flooding was especially pronounced in Cuba's eastern province of Holguin, where heavy rains caused the Rio Grande River to overflow. The economically important nickel and cobalt mining operations in the Holguin region of Moa were not been affected by Wednesday, authorities said. Eastern Cuba was already saturated in recent months by three major hurricanes: Gustav, Ike and Paloma.