"Restore services, collect debris, care for victims, plan, and organize donations, give priority to the most vulnerable" were lines of action emphasized by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during his comments on the television program Mesa Redonda, devoted yesterday to the recovery underway, following the January 27 tornado that hit Havana.
The President said that Army General Raúl Castro and José Ramón Machado Ventura, first and second secretaries of the Communist Party of Cuba, respectively, are attentive to progress being made in recovery efforts.
“We are going to pick ourselves up, because in Cuba, as the song says, the day always dawns after the darkest night, because we are continuity,” he said.
Díaz-Canel reiterated condolences on behalf of the Party, the government, and other organizations, to families afflicted by the loss of human life, the injured, and those who suffered the loss of property and damage to their homes.
“This event differs from those we are accustomed to facing. A tornado cannot be predicted like a hurricane. Information had been announced about forecasts of thunderstorms, high probability of rain ... and measures were adopted, like not holding the March of the Torches as usual on January 27. What we could not anticipate was that an event of this magnitude would develop, a scale EF4 (tornado).”
After the tornado, the response of leaders and cadres of the Party and government, the National Civil Defense General Staff, with cooperation from central state administration agencies, was immediate, he recalled.
"It should be noted that there were firefighters, rescue workers, emergency services, the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and the people. From the first moment the people were present," he said.
Diaz-Canel recalled that the Provincial Defense Council met at 8am the morning of the 28th, and the Council of Ministers was convened two hours earlier.
Before dawn, he said, “Several ministers were present where the most complex problems were occurring," he said, adding that experience was gained and lessons learned, which should be shared with the population.
To do so, and to provide information on the recovery work of many organizations and people, he suggested presenting another Mesa Redonda program on the issue, next week.