A Sutton couple fear for their safety as Cuban hotel staff advise them how to prepare when Hurricane Matthew hits.
Tourist Jemma Hayes, 29, has shared this video with us following a guests’ meeting at their hotel in Holguin, east Cuba, to offer assistance before Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit the region of eastern Cuba tomorrow.
The representative on their Thomas Cook holiday said: “Fill the bath tub with water, they will supply you with as many bottles of water you need. As to the number of staff I don’t know. Although you feel you will be on your own, but you are not on you’re on, and you will not be on your own. I cannot assure you it is me that will stay here.
“We are working together with the Cuban authorities and the hotel management. They will keep you safe.
“When the hurricane starts hitting, go to the bathroom of your room,s the sink, that section there, that is the safest place.”
The couple have been reporting developments to us as the situation unfolds, and they have told of their fears as staff leave them alone to hide in their rooms, until the hurricane passes.
Thomas Cook has issued a statement regarding customers at Holguin.
They said: “The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and we are monitoring the development of Hurricane Matthew very closely as it moves towards south east Cuba and the resort of Holguin. Hurricanes and tropical storms are common in this part of the Caribbean at this time of year and the Cuban government has tried and tested procedures for helping tourists. Our teams on the ground are also very experienced in this circumstances.
“For customers who are due to fly home from Holguin on 3rd and 4th October, we have been allowed by the Cuban government to transport 570 by coach to the airport of Cayo Coco so that they can return to the UK as scheduled. We have provided accommodation for those customers in Cayo Coco so they can be comfortable prior to their departure.
“Currently the Cuban government will not allow Thomas Cook UK to evacuate or move further customers from Holguin. Therefore for the 1,000 customers remaining in Holguin, they will be looked after in their hotels, which also have well-rehearsed procedures for these types of storms.
“For customers who are due to depart from Manchester to Holguin on October 3rd and Gatwick to Holguin on 4th October, the flights will now go to Cayo Coco where accommodation will be provided. We have also offered free cancellations or amendments for these flights. Customers due to travel on these days can call 01733 224 536 for help.
“For customers travelling out to Cuba from the October 5 onwards, normal booking conditions will apply.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “A hurricane warning is now in place for parts of Cuba. Hurricane Matthew is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of Cuba from around October 3, 2016. The Civil Aviation Corporation in Cuba has announced some airport closures from noon on 2 October. Contact airlines or tour operators to confirm travel arrangements. Contact your airline or tour operator to confirm travel arrangements
“The hurricane season in Cuba normally runs from June to November.”