November 20, 2019

Havana tornado: Cuba’s capital hit by rare twister

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From BBC

Three people are dead and more than 172 injured after a rare tornado ripped through ’s capital, Havana.

With wind speeds of up to 100km/hr (60 mph), the first tornado to hit the city in decades uprooted trees and cut power in poor areas late on Sunday.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel met emergency crews on the streets before dawn on Monday, and tweeted that the damage was “severe”.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed homes destroyed and trucks overturned.

Neighbours in Havana talk with debris strewn in streets around them
Image captionRestoration efforts have already begun in the storm’s aftermath, according to President Diaz-Canel

Staff at the Hijas de Galicia maternity hospital had to evacuate.

Photographers for the news agency said parts of a balcony had been torn off one building in the Luyano neighborhood.

Electricity poles damaged by the storm
Image captionThe twister was Havana’s first in more than a decade
A car dropped outside an apartment in Havana where the storm struck
Image captionCars, power lines and buildings were all hit by the twister’s impact

, 33, told AFP news agency: “We heard a noise like an airplane falling out of the sky. The first thing I did was go hug my daughters.”

A home with a damaged roof in Havana
Image captionWinds of more than 100km/h damaged homes in Cuba’s capital Havana, as well as rural areas

President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted: “We are touring areas affected by the atmospheric phenomenon of great intensity.”

He added that “several brigades [are] already working on the restoration.”

One of scores of homes damaged by by the storm
Image captionExtensive damage was caused by falling debris during the storm

Cuba’s state media had forecast high winds and thunderstorms in the west of the country.

“Those of the island accustomed to these warnings did not suspect the magnitude of what was coming,” state-run newspaper Granma said.

For more on this story and video go to: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47025852

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