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Fire and toxic cloud after oil tank explosion in Cuba

CARE is closely monitoring an evolving situation in Cuba, where lightning struck a storage tank of crude oil at the Matanzas Super Tanker Base, 55 miles east of Havana, causing a large fire and explosion. At this time over 4,000 people have been evacuated, more than 120 people are injured, and many firefighters are missing. CARE Cuba is supporting a local partner based in Matanzas to collect and deliver food to people in shelters.

A cloud of toxic smoke is now moving into the country’s western provinces where people have been advised to wear masks and stay indoors. Long power cuts, due to petroleum shortages, are making the situation more difficult, with fans and AC not working while there is a current peak in dengue cases. Ongoing food insecurity issues in the country, bolstered by the Global Food Crisis, pose increased risks for vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls.

For media inquiries, please contact CARE Canada media relations, [email protected]