Remembering St. Vincent’s September 9/11 disaster

By Demion McTair. Updated 7:28 p.m., Friday, September 11, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

An abandoned colonial relic. Photo: Georgetown Revisited.

Today, September 11, 2020, marks 19 years since the well-known terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center in New York.

But, little is known about a disaster that took place on September 11, 1898, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, some 122 years ago.

In the book, ‘A brief History of St. Vincent’, a great hurricane is noted to have hit St. Vincent, killing 300 persons.

The book says the population of St. Vincent at the time was 40,000 and of those, some 30,000 persons were affected by the hurricane.

Trade was suspended and many people were left homeless and without food.

The Administrator of the colony at the time, Mr. Harry Thompson rallied support. A relief committee was put in place and a relief fund created to assist.

The Governor responsible for the British colony of St. Vincent, Sir Cornelius Alfred Moloney, came over from Grenada and visited parts of the Island.

Contribitions of money, food and clothing came from England, America, and neighbouring colonies.

The Relief Fund raised over £28,000.

The book, “A brief history of St. Vincent” by Ebenezer Duncan is available at the National Public Library.

In 1953, the United States began using female names for storms and, by 1978, both male and female names were used to identify Northern Pacific storms. This was then adopted in 1979 for storms in the Atlantic basin. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center does not control the naming of tropical storms, according to National Ocean Service.

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