Cuba succeeds in controlling the worst fire in its history

Firefighters have managed to control what officials described as the worst fire in Cuba's history after, for five days, it destroyed 40 percent of the Caribbean island's main fuel storage facility and caused widespread blackouts.

Reuters witnesses reported that the flames that engulfed a section of four tanks in the port of Matanzas since Friday have subsided, while the thick black smoke plumes rising from the area have diminished and are starting to turn grey.

Matanzas is Cuba's largest port equipped to receive imports of crude oil and fuel.

The island relies mainly on heavy crude oil, as well as shipments of fuel oil and diesel, stored in Matanzas, to generate electricity.

Lightning struck one of the fuel tanks on Friday evening.

The flames spread to a second tank by Sunday and engulfed the area of ​​four tanks on Monday with huge explosions despite the efforts of local firefighters backed by more than 100 personnel from Mexico and Venezuela.

Officials did not specify how much fuel was lost in the fire that destroyed the four tanks.

Authorities stated that the oil did not pollute nearby Matanzas Bay.

But she urged residents in other places, including Havana, to wear masks and avoid exposure to acid rain caused by huge plumes of smoke from the fire.

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