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Havana is recovering fast after deadly tornado

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (ACN) After eight o'clock on Monday night, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel led a new meeting of the Council of Ministers to evaluate the progress of recovery actions in Havana, after the devastating passage of the tornado that affected several municipalities of the capital on Sunday night.

"Intensifying attention to the population at times like these is vital," Diaz-Canel said. Work has been done quickly from the very beginning and it is necessary to explain to the people everything that is being done.
From now on, we must begin to gather all the experiences that this climatic phenomenon has left us in order to incorporate them into prevention and disaster plans, he said.
Major General Ramón Pardo Guerra, head of the National Civil Defense Staff, pointed out that according to an aerial exploration carried out on Monday morning, "the tornado emerged in the vicinity of the Casino Deportivo and weakened east of Alamar.
"It is estimated that it covered a length of 11.5 kilometers, at a speed of 42, 6 kilometers per hour in 16 minutes; it began with an action diameter of 500 meters and then expanded to a thousand at the end of its trajectory," he said.
So far," he said, "there have been reports of significant damage such as total and partial collapse of houses, fall of trees and poles of the electrical and telephone lines, breakage of doors and windows, as well as were dragged or overturned by strong winds containers and cars. The city's sanitation and rubble collection work is being carried out with agility from the outset, he emphasized.
The number of deaths as a result of the meteorological event has risen to four, and a total of 195 injured people are reported to be in different hospitals in the capital, according to Public Health Minister José Angel Portal Miranda. The material damage is concentrated in the municipalities of Diez de Octubre, Regla, Guanabacoa and San Miguel, in 11 health institutions.
The most complex situation continues in the Daughters of Galicia Maternity Hospital, from which 196 patients were evacuated, 18 of whom are already discharged to their homes.
Regarding housing, the Minister of Construction, René Mesa Villafaña, confirmed that the greatest damage is in the roofs of the buildings, which are needed to begin to deliver resources to solve them.
The first secretary of the Party in Havana, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, reported that so far the number of houses affected amounts to 1238, of which 123 are total collapses and 625 partial, as well as 224 completely lost the roof and 124 to some extent.
In this regard, President Diaz-Canel indicated that, once the losses have been accounted for, the necessary resources should begin to be distributed immediately to the population - through the different established channels - so that the problems can be alleviated as soon as possible.
Regarding the restoration of electric service, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Raúl García Barreiro, assured that it is expected to be solved next Thursday. The damage is concentrated above all in the electrical networks, both transmission and distribution, and only the substations of Berroa and Guanabacoa continued to be affected.
Meanwhile, Antonio Rodriguez Rodriguez, president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, highlighted the rehabilitation of all damages. Regarding the water supply, he pointed out that several cistern trucks have been sent to the areas and tanks have been placed to store the vital liquid in various points of easy access to the population.
Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella, Minister of Communications, stated that more than 13,000 telephone services have been affected so far. Twelve brigades of linemen, made up of 80 men and specialized cars, were already working on the restoration work. In the same way, actions are carried out in the mobile network and wifi sites, as well as in the exterior plant, where the main damages are concentrated.
In agriculture the greatest impact is in the production of tobacco in the municipalities of San Juan Pinar del Río, San Luis and San Miguel, said the minister of sector Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero. The possible damages in the areas of several crops where intense rains took place still have to be specified.
Iris Quiñones Rojas, head of the Ministry of Food Industry, said that since the early hours of this Monday began the production of bread to ensure the corresponding family basket, despite the fact that 36 bakeries were still affected as a result of the lack of electricity.
Some 48 means of automobile transport are estimated to have suffered some kind of breakdown, said the minister of the branch, Eduardo Rodriguez Davila.
The main resources to start the recovery work are available, said Alejandro Gil Fernandez, Minister of Economy and Planning.
As recovery work progresses, it was reported, the different media will continue to offer our people all the details with the greatest immediacy.

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