Cubans adjust in a month following a devastating hotel explosion

HAVANA -- Worshippers pray under a scorching sun.

Cubans adjust in a month following a devastating hotel explosion

HAVANA -- Worshippers pray under a scorching sun. They seek refuge beneath umbrellas and some of the few trees that surround the Amphitheater in Old Havana. This is just a short distance from the highway leading to the harbor.

Since their church, the 19th-century Calvary Church, was badly damaged in an explosion at the nearby Hotel Saratoga, hundreds of Baptists have met on open-air bleachers atop stone levels for Sunday services.

46 people were killed in the explosion that occurred on May 6, apparently due to a gas leak. This included hotel workers, residents of nearby houses, and passersby. However, those who were inside the church were not hurt. Officials state that two people are still in hospital.

The Rev. David Gonzalez stated that the government offered the use of the amphitheater located 10 blocks away from the church damaged for the moment.

Gonzalez stated that "all signs point to the possibility" that the church could be saved. Gonzalez said that although a significant portion of the church will need to be destroyed, such as the homes next door, it appears the structure can be saved in its entirety. ... It will take a while."

The blast caused damage to three buildings, including a school, theater and apartment building.

Five-star Havana Hotel, which was one of Havana's jewels, was left in ruins. Officials are yet to say if they will attempt to save the structure that is currently covered with metal sheets.

The majority of the work to recover the city has been done in the key area of the city.

Even those who have survived nightmares are still haunting them.

Onaylis Suarez (29-year-old teacher, married to Rev. Gonzalez. Gonzalez. Three seconds later, I was paralysed and the window opened. Then the wave .... blew me into the street.

"I was thinking of many things. I believed the church was about to fall. It was a bomb. It was a bomb. I felt I had to flee."

Families who were displaced by the destruction of their homes are now staying in shelters in the city, while Suarez and others have been staying with family members.

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