The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has extended condolences to Cuba, which is battling a disastrous fire at the Port of Matanzas.
“We extend our condolences on the loss of life and wish a speedy recovery to the scores of people who were injured in this tragic accident brought on by an act of nature,” a CARICOM statement said.
The statement noted that extensive infrastructure and environmental damage are also of concern to the Community.
It said that in the same manner as the steadfast fraternity shown to CARICOM by its sister nation, the Community stands in solidarity with Cuba as it seeks to limit the disaster’s damage and offers our assistance to ‘our longstanding friend and partner’ to overcome this setback.
Media reports have indicated that Cuba appeared to make progress on Sunday, bringing under control a fire at its main oil storage facility that has killed one firefighter, drawing on help from Mexico and Venezuela to fight the raging flames.
A lightning strike on Friday ignited one of eight storage tanks at the Matanzas supertanker port 60 miles east of Havana.
A second tank caught fire on Saturday, catching firefighters and others at the scene by surprise.
And on Monday, Reuters News Agency, quoting the Governor of Matanzas province, reported that a third crude tank caught fire and collapsed.
One person is dead, 121 injured, and sixteen people were reported missing.
The governments of Mexico and Venezuela have sent special teams to help extinguish the fire, with water cannons, planes and helicopters fighting the fire from several directions.