Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto

Tornado Relief for Cuba
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:50

CNC Cross-Canada Campaign
for Cuba Tornado Relief

Cuba Hit by first tornado in 80-years
February 4, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Out of the dark blue of the evening of January 27, a line of

electric storms approaching Cuba from the south-west was

announced by the meteorological services. The general

interpretation was that beginning late on Sunday evening

intermittent thunderstorms would begin affecting eastern

Havana, nothing severe enough to change one’s plans to visit

friends in mid-Havana that evening. 

What came to be identified as an unusual meteorological

phenomenon, including a tornado with winds of more than

300 kph, tore through fragile parts of Havana beginning at

about 8 p.m. The toll on housing, intensely in Regla and

Guanabacoa, was severe. As the tornado made its way from

the Casino Deportivo to east of Alamar, it passed through the

centre of the city, with terrifying howling winds. 

Demolished or damaged homes were the major grief it brought.

This, together with crippling the electricity supplies, multiplied

the ways in which people could die or suffer serious injuries

in places that suddenly became unfamiliar. Havana suffered the

high numbers of 6 fatalities and some two hundred injured

people. 5,000 people have been evacuated from their badly

damaged houses in four Havana municipalities.

Heavy construction brigades came immediately to clear up the

trees and electrical poles and wires blocking the roads. Over the

next few days Havana’s students promptly came to help; artists

and writers carried water to where none was available, even

after the electricity had been mostly restored. (See photographs

in the online articles below.)

Hardly four weeks ago, the CCFA’s Amistad announced

the end to the CNC’s formal campaign for funds to help in the

recovery from Hurricane Irma. We thought that, with the end of

the hurricane season, Cuba would be spared, at least for some

months, the effects of new natural disasters; and here came this

insolent storm on the eve of José Martí’s birthday, coinciding

with the arrival of more than 1,000 people gathered from more

than 60 countries to participate with serious studies in the

central celebratory event. 

The damage to Havana was on the minds of all of us.

Martí had written the aphorism:
It is noble to defend friendship, not forgetting, 
in doing so, history and the idea of justice. 

So a necessary campaign for funds against this malicious storm

and tornado has to be opened. We congratulate the Bolivarian

Republic of Venezuela on its sending aid to Cuba ahead of us.

Let us strive to catch up.

Cheques should be written to "CNC" with the following words

on the memo line: "Tornado Relief".

They should be mailed to:
CNC   c/o Sharon Skup
56 Riverwood Terrace
Bolton ON L7E 1S4

E-transfers to be sent to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,

please include in the message box "Tornado Relief"
and we recommend an easy password all lower case such as,
for example, which country the donations are going to help.

All the best,
Keith Ellis, CNC Cuba Relief Campaign Coordinator 

Night of the storm:

The Morning after the tornado:

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:55


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