Keesing's strives to accurately record the world’s most significant political, social, and economic events. Much of Keesing's content concerns political developments, but in every issue we also document natural disasters, environmental issues, and scientific discoveries. With Hurricane Felix approaching the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras, I wanted to look back though the archive to see how Central America and the nearby Caribbean islands have previously been affected by hurricanes.
Hurricane Mitch, 1998. The November 1998 issue of Keesing's records how Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, 1998, claiming more than 10,000 lives, destroying tens of thousands of homes, wiping out water, road, and electrical systems, and ruining crops. As many as 2 million people were left homeless. [For the full article see 'Nov 1998-Hurricane Mitch' p. 42608.]
Hurricane Hugo, 1989. The September 1989 issue reports of the destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo. The hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean, with winds of up to 140 mph, and first crossed land on Sept. 17 over the islands of Guadeloupe and its dependencies in the Leeward Islands, where six people were reported killed and 10,000 people made homeless. The hurricane went on to cause widespread devastation in the north-eastern Caribbean and the south-eastern United States. An estimated 25 people were killed on Puerto Rico and 100,000 left homeless. [For the full article see 'Sep 1989 -Hurricane Hugo' p. 36891.]
Hurricane Allen, 1980. In the August 1980 edition of Keesing's you can read a report on the devastation caused by Hurricane Allen. The hurricane struck St Lucia on Aug. 4, devastating banana plantations and killing 17 people. In the following days, the worst effects of the hurricane were felt in southern Haiti, where at least 67 people died and official estimates put the economic damage at over $400,000,000 (equivalent to about two-fifths of the country's GDP); in northern Jamaica, where there were at least six deaths and 4,000 people were made homeless; and in Cuba, where four deaths were reported and extensive economic damage was caused. [For the full article see 'St. Lucia-Hurricane disaster' p. 30482.]
Puerto Rico, September 1932. The archive started in 1931 and the earliest record of a hurricane comes from September 1932, when “a Hurricane devastated the islands of Porto Rico”. The Red Cross reported from San Juan (the capital) that 197 persons had been killed and 1,800 injured. Nearly 9,000 homes were destroyed and 75,000 people rendered temporarily homeless. [For the full article see 'September 1932 Hurricane' p. 487.]
The Keesing's Archive has reports on natural disasters from 1931 to the present day. If you are interested in researching the history of hurricanes, 'disaster' is one of the key topics by which you can orgainse your archive search results. To read the full articles on the hurricanes, please click here to join Keesing's today.