Cuba tornado: Three killed and more than 170 injured in Havana as deadly cyclone hits capital

Reports of landslides and power cuts across Havana as storm sweeps in from Gulf of Mexico

Tom Barnes
Monday 28 January 2019 10:31 GMT
Cuba struck by severe winds and rain as tornado hits Havana

At least three people have died and more than 170 others have been injured after a tornado hit the Cuban capital Havana.

Several neighbourhoods in the city have been badly affected by the cyclone, which was swept in from the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday evening, according to local media reports.

Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, announced on Monday three people had been killed, while dozens more were being treated for injuries.

“The damage is severe, so far we regret the loss of 3 human lives and treated 172 injured,” he wrote on Twitter.

Photographs circulated online showed roofs torn off buildings, upturned cars and flooded streets in several Havana neighbourhoods.

Reports stated several districts in the city were experincing power cuts, while some areas also saw isolated landslides. Winds are thought to have reached in excess of 60mph.

Armando Caymares, from the Cuban meteorological institute Insmet, told the pro-government news outlet Cubadebate forecasters had previously observed the tornado forming off the coast.

He said residents from across the city had called to report the cyclone had made landfall late on Sunday evening.

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“People heard what sounded like a jet engine and felt changes in environmental pressure,” he added.

Tornados are a relatively rare occurrence in Havana, although the city has been hit by the weather phenomenon in the past.

The most famous disaster came in December 1940 when a tornado swept through the city, killing 20 people and injuring more than 200 others in the nearby town of Bejucal.

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