Tornado Kills 3, Wounds 172 in Havana; President Visits Damaged Areas

Havana, Jan 28 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited during the early hours of Monday neighborhoods of Havana which were severely hit last night by a tornado during an unusual winter storm that killed 3, wounded 172 and caused huge damages.

The Head of State, accompanied by provincial and local authorities, visited areas of the municipalities of Regla, San Miguel and Guanabacoa hardly battered by the tornado as part of the winter storms that began hitting Havana right after 21:00 local time on Sunday after beating the western provinces of Pinar del Rio and Mayabeque.

He wrote in his Twitter account @DiazCanelB: ‘We are visiting places hit by an atmospheric event of great intensity. Damages are severe; so far we regret the loss of three human lives and 172 wounded are being taken care of. Several rescue teams are already working to restore the damages.’ 

The dead and wounded were caused by the collapse of houses and trees. The hard winds tumbled electric and telecommunication poles, turned cars and trucks upside down; the whole city was left without electricity due to the severe damages in the power grid. Electricity is being gradually restored.

Heavy rains flooded zones of the city and the harsh wind caused the sea to overflow low-lying areas like the Havana water front. It also rose and penetrated zones of Mayabeque and Pinar del Rio in both the northern and southern coasts.

Public buildings, State offices and health facilities, including a children and a maternity hospital, in the hit areas also suffered damages.

Despite warnings by the National Meteorological Institute over the coming of the off season tropical storm, the tornado it generated got many off guard.

Authorities have set up special teams to assess the damages and provide support for the people.

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