Residents of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second largest city, awakened in the early hours of Sunday, January 17th, to a number of earthquakes. The city became a symphony of telephone rings as the “word of mouth” network was activated simultaneously with the radio and the Civil Defense. The first earthquake was recorded at 1:37 a.m., pegged at 5.0 on the Richter scale, the most severe recorded. On Thursday, the 21st and Friday, the 22nd, earthquakes measuring 4.3 and 3.0, respectively, were recorded. In all 700 earthquakes have been recorded, with 28 of them noticeable. Given the poor structural condition of most houses, many people were put out of their homes fearing collapse. The Civil Defense has been instructing and teaching families about how to be prepared. Apparently, the worst is yet to come.
That same Sunday, about 550 miles away, at around 4:00 p.m., large waves overtook the famous Malecon seawall in Havana. Flood waters extended inland for five blocks to G Street and Linea. On Saturday, the 24th, the enraged sea again poured into low lying areas along the Havana coastline. Many prepared for the floods, while others simply waited with uncertainty.
Is it unusual that the two larges cities in Cuba were struck by major weather and seismological events within a few days? We see in the Bible how God used weather and natural phenomena to get His people’s attention and turn their eyes back to Him. Times of desperation are significant opportunities for the Gospel. In the aftermath of this crisis, over 2000 people in Santiago have come to know Jesus and His unconditional love. Our Vice President in Santiago, Pastor Carlos Rivaflechas, who has been unable to return to his own home, reported this great harvest for the Kingdom. Our people in Cespedes have organized a support team and are sending them out today, Monday, the 25th.
God is calling us to pray for the people of Santiago, Havana and all of Cuba. Would you join us in fasting and prayer over the next several weeks?
Dios te Bendiga,
Carlos Alamino, Jr