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Surprise deadly tornado hits Cuba

Twister was worst in some 80 years

The worst tornado to strike Cuba in nearly 80 years has killed at least four people and injured hundreds more. 



Considered rare, the tornado tore through capital Havana on Sunday night, and according to Cuban weather service meteorologist Jose Rubiera, was the strongest twister to hit the Caribbean nation in eight decades. 


Around 1 kilometre wide, the roughly 16-minute tornado downed trees and power-lines, overturned cars and even left buildings in rubble, Reuters reported.  


Victoria Infanta Rodriguez said, “the noise made it seem like a plane was crashing down on us,”\


“But when you looked it was more like a big ball of flame - something red, red, red as if the whole country had caught fire.”


According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller website, hurricane season in Cuba runs from June to November, when “landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur”. 


Earthquakes and tsunamis are also known to happen. 


Thanks to a rigorous evacuation scheme, Cuba has suffered relatively few deaths from hurricanes. But this tornado took the country by surprise.


Images YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 29 January 2019

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