Cuban authorities appealed to the governments of several countries for help in extinguishing a major fire in oil tanks on the outskirts of the industrial city of Matanzas. This was reported by the AFP agency on Sunday, August 7.

As specified in the office of the President of Cuba, the country turned to “friendly countries with experience in handling fuel” for help. President Miguel Diaz-Canel thanked Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile for their “quick delivery of assistance”. The US has offered technical advice, writes AFP.

The largest fire in the history of the country

The fire in the northwest of the country began on Friday, August 5, after a lightning strike in a crude oil storage tank 100 kilometers from Havana. As a result, an explosion occurred, the flames first engulfed one tank, and on the morning of August 6 spread to a neighboring one, which also exploded.

The fire was the largest in the history of Cuba, notes AFP. The first tank contained about 26 million liters of crude oil, the second – 52 million liters of fuel. The fuel depot belonged to the largest Cuba thermal power plant.

By the evening of August 6, firefighters were unable to completely extinguish the flames. As a result of the accident, at least one person died, 121 people were injured, including Lebanese Energy Minister Arronte, and 17 firefighters are missing.

Cuba suffers from fuel shortages and power outages

The fire came amid fuel shortages in Cuba, whose population faces daily power outages due to intense summer heat. Power outages led to protests in the country.

According to Jorge Pinon, director of the Latin America and the Caribbean Energy and Environment Program at the University of Texas at Austin, there are a total of eight large tanks with a capacity of 300,000 barrels each in the fire area. “This area is a transfer point for various thermal power plants, and not just the one located nearby, so this (fire. – Ed.) could be very bad news for the country’s energy system,” Reuters quoted the expert as saying.

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