In the words of professor Rubiera, it only took the tornado sixteen minutes to devastate some municipalities in Havana, a city gearing up for the celebration of its 500th anniversary
More than 24 hours have passed and Havana’s citizens do not change the subject: “it cannot be named,” an old woman said in a bus.
And she is right. Cruel, insensitive, brutal, not even named Gustav or Irma; its name is just: “tornado” and took four lives with it. “The Cuban people are not used to have casualties in this regard. We are well trained. Everyone knows what to do when a hurricane approaches. However, this event has been unexpected, unusual” a young girl adds.
I did not see anything. Hence, I rather ask people. They are Gilda and her son Reinier. They were in Alamar in a bus stop: “it sounded like an airplane and I said how this is possible. In this cases, flights are cancelled. But it was not an airplane. It was the tornado,” Reiner confessed.
Both live in Coco and Rabi streets. When they got home, the images shocked them: “my neighbors said that it turned the corner. Can you imagine? I can’t. It is something weird. I am a psychologist. But I still do not understand what just happened.”
Suddenly her son states: “We went to a neighbor’s house to search the top of the house tank. But we found her stunned. She leaned out of the window because she heard a huge noise and the wind gusts destroyed her door. She was still affected. She was yelling as well as her husband, who is also an old man.”
Gilda added: “when we came, we saw roofs and blankets destroyed as if they were torn apart.”
The talk became a group discussion sharing a collective disgrace: “This cannot be natural. This tornado must have brought a chainsaw with it. You should see how it cut the trees!” The man was very serious about it and everyone in the bus understood.
Reiner added: “It pretty sad. Three families have lost one relative, more than 170 have one relative in admission in a hospital or injured at home. Many have lost their houses. It hurts all of us.”
In the morning, the noise of the search and rescue helicopter gave some inner peace to Gilda and her neighbors.
Health care professionals, paramedics, firefighters, police, officials, neighbors, all of us mourn our losses but together we stand up.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff