DID YOU KNOW?

Compiled by Anselma Aimable

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Did you know according to Historian Henry Hegart Breen the vicissitudes of the year was differentiated by two seasons, the wet and the dry season?

The French assigned the name Caréme to the dry season with Lent being the principal period that marked its duration and Hivernage was given to the wet season which corresponded to the hurricane season.  Caréme embraced February, March and April and Hivernage included July, August, September and October.

However, it was not supposed to be that the dry and wet season only extended to these months.  Drought and rain were not confined to any particular period of the year, and three months of incessant rain are as likely to be succeeded by three months of uninterrupted drought as any other unforeseen weather event could occur.

Many authors had divided the seasons in the Antilles, but such divisions were more far-fetched than founded in facts and if it was founded it was a modification of the two primary seasons.

Therefore, November, December and January was part of the dry season and the prevalence of the light breeze by day and the heavy dew during the night imparted an unusual degree of coolness to the environment.

The temperature seldom rose to eighty degrees Fahrenheit.  This time of year was always a great relief from the rain and wind of the hurricane season.

Did you know St. Lucia appears to be situated within the range of dreadful hurricanes and it has suffered more severely from them than any other island within the tropics, except perhaps Barbados?

There is no record of hurricanes before 1756, but since that period there have been terrific scenes of devastation and loss of life.  So intense was the feeling of fear by the public that the “Miserere mei, Deus” (Have mercy on me, God) and other prayers were offered up in the churches during the period of the hurricane months, and at the conclusion of the hurricane season the “Te Deum” (Te Deum Laudamus/Thee, O God we Praise) sung as a public thanksgiving.

From 1756-1851 (a period of seventy-five years} St. Lucia was laid waste by six hurricanes, the most devastating of which occurred on October 10, 1780; October 21, 1817 and August 11, 1831.

The hurricane of 1780 was possibly the most destructive that occurred in this hemisphere.  It wreaked havoc on the whole of the Lesser Antilles; but its main force was on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique and St. Vincent.  The loss of human lives was computed to be at twenty-two thousand in these four islands.

Source: St. Lucia: Historical, Statistical and Descriptive by Henry Hegart Breen – 1844

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One comment

  1. Thank you for this info. Its very interesting. I did not know about the 1780 hurricane and its massive loss of lives - horrific. I know climate change exists but could it also be cyclical and not all man made as its hyped up to be?
    Thanks Anselma

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