Tornado Strikes Havana, Killing at Least 3
HAVANA — A tornado ripped through eastern Havana late Sunday and early Monday, killing three people, injuring 174 others and battering the capital with powerful winds and heavy rains.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez announced the toll on Twitter, along with photographs of himself and rescue workers next to what appeared to be an overturned vehicle. Little information about the storm appeared in the state media.
Photos posted on Twitter by Cuban news outlets and Havana residents showed cars crushed by fallen lampposts and cars trapped in floodwaters.
There was a blackout in many Havana neighborhoods starting around 9 p.m. One local radio station said on Twitter that the neighborhoods of Regla and 10th of October, and the town of San Miguel de Padrón had been affected by the tornado.
Power poles in the district were knocked over or were leaning precariously early Monday, held up only by their electrical lines. A palm tree more than 30 feet tall had crushed a decades-old American car.
Metal sheeting was ripped off the roofs of buildings, with deadly shards thrust into the air, and the streets were littered with bricks that had fallen from housing facades.
Julio Menéndez, a 33-year-old restaurant worker, said the 10th of October district “looks like a horror movie.” “From one moment to the next, we heard a noise like an airplane falling out of the sky,” said Mr. Menendez, who was home Sunday night when the tornado hit.
Patients at the nearby Daughters of Galicia Hospital — all expectant mothers or mothers with newborns — were evacuated to another hospital. Many glass windows in the seven-story hospital were sucked out of their frames, leaving curtains flapping in the breeze.