Cuba registered on Monday near-record cold temperatures as strong winds slammed the Caribbean island, forcing people to wear heavy jackets, hats, and gloves and shuttered their homes.
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In Bainoa, a small town in the east of Havana, the cold temperatures plunged to just 2.8 degrees Celsius on Monday morning, with gusty winds that buffeted the island's palm-fringed shores much of the weekend.
"This is not normal," stated Barbara Salgado, a resident of Havana who was wearing a black scarf around her neck, protecting herself from the cold. "Temperatures here (in winter) are always cool, but they are never like this; it's almost polar," she added.
"Take care especially of our children and elderly," said Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel via Twitter on Sunday, calling the citizens to watch out for one another. On Sunday and early Monday, the police shut down Havana's shorefront boulevard, the Malecon, as low temperatures forced the most stalwart fishermen to vacate their posts as a towering, foam-topped rollers slammed seawall, flooding streets and soaking passersby.
"It's truly been a long time since it's been this cold. It's unbelievable," said Jorge Sanchez, who strolled the street in a warm jacket, surprised at the cold.
According to meteorologists, it is expected that temperatures in Havana and nationwide will be gradually moderating until they return to normal levels by the end of the week.