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Fire breaks out at Cuban fuel storage port; Mexico, Venezuela sending help

An enormous oil-fed hearth burned for a second day on Saturday close to Cuba’s supertanker port in Matanzas, as Mexico and Venezuela despatched groups to help combat the inferno and Cuba accepted a US supply of unspecified “technical advice”.

On Friday night, lightning struck one in every of eight storage tanks at the ability 60 miles east of Havana. Heat from the blaze reached a second tank on Saturday and the wind blew flames dangerously near a 3rd.

“We express deep gratitude to the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Chile … which have promptly offered material aid in the face of this complex situation,” tweeted Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

“We also appreciate the offer of technical advice from the US,” he stated.

Cuban authorities stated at least 121 individuals had been injured within the second blast, of which 36 remained hospitalized, 5 in crucial situation. One individual was listed as useless and 17 firefighters had been unaccounted for. More than 1,000 civilians had been evacuated from the world.

“There was a very big explosion yesterday around 8 p.m. and today at 5 a.m. a second explosion so big it lit up the area like the sun,” native resident Alfredo Gonzalez stated.

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Diaz-Canel visited the scene round midnight, then returned to spend Saturday coordinating the response as state-run tv broadcast reside protection of the unfolding catastrophe.

Before the second blast, Diaz-Canel posted on Twitter that first responders had been “trying to avert the spread of the flames and any spill of fuel” into the Matanzas bay.

Military helicopters had been dumping seawater on close by storage tanks as smoke reached Havana and residents had been warned to keep away from acid rain.

Cuba has been struggling day by day blackouts and fuel shortages. The lack of fuel and storage capability is prone to worsen the state of affairs which has led to small native protests in the previous few months.

Jorge Pinon, director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy and Environment Program, stated the world had eight huge tanks every with a capability of 300,000 barrels.

“The area is a transshipment point for fuel to various thermo-electric plants, not just the one nearby, so this could be very bad news for the power grid,” he stated.

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