Havana seeks US assistance to rehabilitate fire-affected area in Matanzas & More Latest News Here


Cuban government officials held a dialogue with experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to learn techniques for rehabilitating the supertanker base area in Matanzas affected by the industrial fire that occurred in early August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Havana reported on Friday.

According to the report of the EFE agency, Cuban experts asked EPA members “their evaluation of the actions already carried out” in the regionin a virtual meeting held last Wednesday.

Representatives of the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), among other institutions, presented during the meeting “the main tasks undertaken since the fire was declared extinguished” on August 12, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also, The island’s specialists asked for “the possibility of accessing the most innovative techniques and procedures accumulated both by the EPA and by companies linked to the petroleum sector and other agencies involved in this type of accident”.added the source.

In a statement released on Friday, the Cuban Foreign Ministry highlighted the meeting’s “professional and fruitful exchange” environment, where The two sides also discussed “possible avenues of cooperation” in rehabilitating the area consumed by the incident.

On August 5, a massive fire broke out at Cuba’s largest fuel storage base, likely after lightning struck one of the tanks in the industrial park, Cuban authorities said.

Four of the eight supertanker base depots were completely destroyed after burning for a week. The column of smoke from the incident became visible in neighboring provinces, such as Mayabeque and Havana, the latter located 104 kilometers away.

During these days there was an exchange of reproaches between the authorities of Havana and Washington after Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez made a request for aid that he limited to “friendly countries”, after which many Cubans demanded that the government turn to their northern neighbor.

Through two senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX), Havana limited itself to confirming that it had received and appreciated the “technical advice” offered by the United States. But A spokesperson for the United States National Security Council said that “U.S. firefighting experts with experience operating petroleum storage facilities spoke with Cuban officials to offer technical advice, but The Cuban government has not officially requested additional assistance.

After the fire broke out, Havana has received material aid and fire crews from its political allies in Venezuela and Mexico, as well as visits from Iranian oil industry officials.

In the incident, 16 people lost their lives, mostly firefighters, while 146 others were injured and 15 of them are still hospitalized.

Havana requests U.S. assistance to rehabilitate area affected by Matanzas fire
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Havana requests U.S. assistance to rehabilitate area affected by Matanzas fire
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