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Heavy rains and damaging tornado hit central Cuba


Heavy rains hit central Cuba provinces on Monday, May 25, 2020, flooding low areas of the main cities and forcing evacuations. The storm was accompanied by a tornado with winds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) which left three people injured.

The affected provinces were Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and Cienfuegos. Several locations recorded more than 120 mm (5 inches) of rain in a few hours on May 25, according to the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET).

Around 20 families were evacuated from their homes after rivers became swollen in Santa Clara, the capital of Villa Clara Province. Landslides were also reported in the place.

Several rivers broke their banks in the Sancti Spiritus Province, including Agabama, Tuinucu, Yayabo, and Zaza. Strong winds damaged around 30 homes in areas near the Sancti Spiritus city.

In the same area, a tornado injured three people and damaged at least 90 houses. The greatest damage was reported in the Entronque de Guasimal community, about 10 km (6 miles) from the capital. Some 50 houses were damaged, particularly the roofs.

The twister also impacted around 30 houses in small towns, including El Bejuco, Vega Grande, and Magauaco, according to the preliminary assessments.

Rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue over much of Cuba on Wednesday, May 27. The meteorological situation in the country is due to the presence of a storm over the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, which brings strong winds, humidity, and storms, generating atmospheric instability.

A week ago, Cuba's eastern region was also hit by a tornado and more than 20 earthquakes on May 17, 2020. There were no fatalities, but the storm caused extensive damage to properties.

The National Center for Seismological Research (CENAIS) classified the event as an "anomalous seismic activity", which "corresponds to an activation of a segment of the Oriente fault to the south of the Guama municipality, in the province of Santiago de Cuba."

Featured image credit: Provincial Government of Sancti Spiritus


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