February 1, 2023

Work continues to put out the fire at the oil plant in Cuba

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(CNN Spanish) — Cuban firefighters have been working non-stop since Friday to try to put out the fire at the oil storage plant in Matanzas. So far, three fuel tanks have collapsed and a fourth is at risk.

The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who has been in place since the fire broke out, has held daily meetings with the collaborators to develop strategies and coordinate the work.

“Keep in mind that we are all participating in a common event against the fire that is hitting us,” the president said on Monday, according to a presidential statement.

According to Granma, the official media outlet of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, there are no precedents in the history of the country for a fire like this.

“The fire has now taken a higher magnitude. The four tanks of 50,000 are already committed. We find ourselves defending terminal 321, where the clear product tanks are located, mainly by preventing the spread of the fire and taking into account that the flash of these tanks and the emission of the generator set has caused a spread,” Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ávalos Jorge, second chief of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Department.

A man on his bicycle looks at the black smoke from the huge fire at a fuel depot in Matanzas, Cuba, on August 9, 2022.

A man on his bicycle looks at black smoke from a huge fire at a fuel depot in Matanzas, Cuba, on August 9, 2022. (Photo: YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

For his part, the provincial director of Health of Matanzas, Luis Armando Wong, said this Monday at a press conference that one of the most important tasks is to warn the population of the damage caused by the smoke from this raging fire.

Wong expressed: “The population in places where we have these concentrations of smoke is recommended to use the nasobuco (mask) in open areas, they are fundamentally people who today have comorbidities.” In addition, he called to “avoid exposure to rain in areas where there is this concentration of smoke because this rain could have toxic substances.”



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