Tornado kills 4, injures 195 in Havana; Cuban president visits damaged neighborhoods

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
2019-01-28 15:49:56


Havana, January 28 (RHC)-- During the early hours of Monday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited neighborhoods of Havana which were severely hit Sunday night by a tornado during an unusual winter storm that killed four people, injured 195 and caused severe damage.

The Head of State, accompanied by provincial and local authorities, visited areas of the municipalities of Regla, San Miguel del Padron and Guanabacoa battered by the tornado as part of the storm that hit Havana around 9 p.m. local time on Sunday, after beating the western provinces of Pinar del Rio and Mayabeque.

The Cuban president wrote in his Twitter account, @DiazCanelB: "We are visiting places hit by an atmospheric event of great intensity.  Damage is severe; so far we regret the loss of three lives and 172 injured are being taken care of.   Several rescue teams are already working to restore the damage."

The dead and injured were caused by the collapse of houses and falling trees.  The heavy winds brought down electric and telecommunications poles, and overturned cars and trucks; the whole city was left without electricity due to the severe damage to the power grid.  Crews are working hard to restore electricity to the affected areas.

Heavy rains flooded zones of the city and the winds caused sea penetration of low-lying areas like the Havana waterfront.  The sea also penetrated areas of Mayabeque and Pinar del Rio on both the northern and southern coasts.

Public buildings, state offices and health facilities, including a children's and a maternity hospital in the affected areas, also suffered damage.

Despite warnings by the National Meteorological Institute forecasting the off season tropical storm, the tornado it generated caught many off guard.

Authorities have set up special teams to assess the damage and provide support for those affected.


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