Raging fire consumes four of Cuba’s eight oil storage facility tanks

0


Flames engulfed a fourth tank at an oil storage facility in western Cuba on Tuesday as the raging blaze consumes critical fuel reserves on an island grappling with a growing energy crisis.

Firefighters and specialists from Mexico and Venezuela helped fight the blaze in Matanzas province with boats, planes and helicopters as they sprayed containers with foam, a first for crews as the sweltering temperatures had prevented them from doing so earlier.

Cuban President Miguel Daz-Canel said crews had taken control of the area where the fire was burning and were taking further steps to extinguish it.

These are not easy tasks, he said. It is an intense and complex incident.

The Matanzas supertanker base fire killed at least one person and injured 125 others, with 14 other firefighters still missing.

It also forced authorities to evacuate more than 4,900 people and shut down a key thermoelectric plant on Monday after running out of water, raising concerns about further blackouts.

The injured were treated primarily for burns and smoke inhalation. More than 20 people remain hospitalized, five of them in critical condition.

This situation worries us a lot at the moment because there are problems with electricity, with the environment, with the people who still live here, said Adneris Daz, a 22-year-old cafe owner.

The eight-tank facility plays a crucial role in Cuba’s electrical system: it operates a vast pipeline that receives Cuban crude oil which is then transported to thermoelectric plants that generate electricity.

It also serves as an unloading and transshipment center for imported crude oil, heating oil and diesel.

The facility caught fire Friday night after lightning struck one of its tanks, causing several explosions as it spread over the weekend.

The first tank was at 50% capacity and contained nearly 883,000 cubic feet of fuel.

The second tank was full.

Authorities have yet to provide a damage estimate.

The blaze comes just days after the government announced planned power outages for the capital city of Havana amid a sweltering summer.

The economic effects are clear,” said Tahimi Snchez, a 48-year-old cafe owner.

“They are there, we will notice them and we will see them, but we are confident, and we will do well.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always endeavored to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and that have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your constant encouragement and feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date with credible news, authoritative opinions and incisive commentary on relevant topical issues.
However, we have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to bring you more great content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of bringing you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

digital editor

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.