HAVANA, Cuba – The Cuban capital, Havana is being ravaged by a killer tornado, which has brought heavy rain and severe winds, that has killed four people and left 195 others injured.
Officials in Havana have said that the rare high-intensity tornado brought strong winds and floods that damaged buildings, crushed cars and cut off power supply, impacting thousands of people in the city.
The tornado was caused by a powerful storm that originated in the Gulf of Mexico and hit western Cuba on Sunday evening.
According to a government statement, strong winds of up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) per hour caused floods that wrecked buildings and vehicles in several provinces.
Armando Caymares from the Institute of Meteorology said, “People described the tornado as having ‘the sound of a jet engine,’ and reported feeling changes in the environmental pressure when it arrived.”
The government said that the worst damage from the floods was in the coastal zones and low-lying areas of Havana and the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa and Mayabeque were heavily impacted.
Reports also stated that the neighborhoods of Santo Suárez, Luyanó, Vía Blanca, Regla and Chibás were affected.
Local media posted photos of the devastation caused by the storm, showing cars overturned and storm debris of broken buildings blocking the streets.
The Hijas de Galicia maternity hospital was reportedly forced to be evacuated after the storm damaged the building.
Officials said that the storm caused city-wide power-cuts and firefighters and ambulances were carried out rescue missions in blacked out areas of the city.
On Monday, the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel took to Twitter after visiting emergency crews around the capital and wrote that the damage from the tornado was “severe.”
He said that emergency teams were working hard to restore power to blacked-out areas.
Bermudez tweeted, “The damage is severe, so far we regret the loss of three human lives and are treating 172 injured.”
The president later posted, “We are travelling through places affected by the storm. The damage is severe.”
While the Caribbean island’s meteorological service, the Cuban Meteorological Institute has stated that it will evaluate the extent of the damage and the intensity of the storm, experts said it was the strongest tornado to hit Cuba in eight decades.
Cuba, which is located in the Caribbean Sea, is struck by hurricanes from June 1 to November 30 each year.
The island nation regularly suffers extreme weather due to Atlantic storms and hurricanes.
Havana, which is home to two million people, is a popular holiday destination.