Cuba assesses environmental impact of fuel storage facility fire

"The main task is to take care of people's health and minimize the impact as much as possible," the official told Cuban state television.

Havana: Cuban scientists and experts are studying the environmental impact of a massive fire at a fuel storage facility in the port of Matanzas.

With vital measures being carried out in Matanzas, different work teams are monitoring air quality in the provinces of Mayabeque and Havana, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez said.

“The main task is to take care of people’s health and minimize the impact as much as possible,” the official told Cuban state television.

The fire in Cuba’s largest fuel storage facility, some 100 km east of the capital Havana, was triggered by a lightning strike on one of the tanks on August 5, reports Xinhua news agency.

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At least person has been confirmed dead, while 122 others were injured in the incident.

A top provincial official has estimated that a total of 6,232 tons of gases and particles were emitted into the atmosphere.

The smoke cloud located at a height of over 4 km does not affect city residents in Matanzas, according to the expert.

Meanwhile, hygiene authorities advised people, especially children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, not to expose themselves to the rains associated the smoke plume and to use face masks in the areas with greatest exposure risk.

Residents of Matanzas confirmed that acid rain fell in recent days, expressing concern about possible damage to local crops.

So far, some 5,000 residents have been evacuated from the area, according to official data.


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