Did you know in January 1884, the Colonial Hospital in Castries was destroyed by fire?
Did you know on July 10, 1960, St. Lucia had a bitter taste of the season’s first hurricane “Abby”? The damage done was estimated at $3,000,000.
Besides the destruction to bridges, crops, livestock and private property, it was the cause of the death of six children.
The house in which they were sheltering in Fonds St. Jacques, Soufriѐre was covered by a landslide.
However, the United Kingdom Government made the island a free grant of $1,000,000 for rehabilitation work; and the Jamaica Government donated $72,000 to assist those persons who had suffered losses.
Source: Outlines of St. Lucia’s History by Rev. Fr. Charles Jesse – 1994
Did you know storm records for the Lesser Antilles date as far back as 1756?
Between 1756 and 1831, St. Lucia experience six hurricanes. The biggest one occurred on October 10, 1780 and killed an estimated 22,000 people in Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Martinique combined.
On October 21, 1817, another devastating storm arrived on the shores of St. Lucia killing 46 slaves along with Major-General Seymour, who died in the ruins of Government House.
Eyewitnesses described the country as a wreck and the abundant crop of canes, which in a very short time would have been cut, was either torn out of the ground or laid flat by the violent wind. The ground provisions were completely destroyed and the Negroes, whose owners had no means of alleviating their hunger were left wandering about for shelter.
Also, dead were 160 mules and horses, more than 300 head of cattle, together with a vast number of sheep, hogs, etc. The estimated total loss was £550,807.
In 1819, barely on the road to recovery, a tropical storm hit St. Lucia, causing disastrous flooding and landslides. Once again, property, animals and crops were destroyed.
Subsequent years saw several more earthquakes. However, another dreadful hurricane in August 1831 claimed the 1,500 lives in Barbados and caused much suffering in St. Vincent. St. Lucia escaped somewhat lightly with the light of ten or twelve lives and some damage to housing, crops and shipping.
Source: A History of St. Lucia by Harmsen, Ellis & Devaux -2012
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]