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Havana: Power outages after explosions at fuel storage facility

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Havana (North County Tribune) – After the explosions in a fuel depot in Matanzas, Cuba, the power went out for hours in parts of the capital Havana. For example, in the Vedado district, where there are several embassies, the lights went out for around four hours on Monday evening. There was no official information on the cause for the time being.

The Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric power plant near Matanzas was temporarily taken off the grid on Monday – according to the government, due to a lack of water due to the extinguishing work. This further exacerbated the difficult situation of electricity supply in Cuba.

Controlled power outages began in Havana last Wednesday. In addition to other measures to save electricity, the provincial government had announced that these would take place every three days and last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the rest of the country, there had been power outages for months, some of which lasted more than twelve hours a day, according to those affected on social media. Frequent power cuts during the hottest time of the year were one of the reasons for the July 2021 anti-government demonstrations in the socialist Caribbean country.

In an industrial area in the coastal city of Matanzas, a good 100 kilometers east of Havana, a flash of lightning caused a fuel tank to explode on Friday. The fire spread to other parts of the facility and has not yet been extinguished. On Monday night, a second tank exploded and a third collapsed. According to the authorities, there were 125 injured, at least one dead and 14 missing firefighters.

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