Hurricane Sandy may leave 1900 Galveston storm behind in destruction
By: Sabir Shah
LAHORE: Hurricane Sandy, which is likely to affect the lives of 60 million residents of the United States in hours and days to come, is bound to prove deadlier than the Sept 9, 1900 Galveston city storm that had led to the deaths of 6,000-12,000 Americans after roaring ashore from the Gulf of Mexico.
Galveston is a city in the American state of Texas.
A few years ago, widely watched American news channel ‘MSNBC’ rated the Galveston Hurricane to be the worst natural disaster in the US history, “with huge storm surges and howling winds of at least 130 mph.”
An MSNBC report of Sept 22, 2005 stated: “The port city, then one of the wealthiest in America in terms of per-capita income, lay in ruins; it would take decades to rebuild Galveston although it never recovered its former glory.”
Meanwhile, a May 7, 2008 report of the MSNBC news channel carried details of the 10 deadliest hurricanes of all times, placing the 1970 “Bhola cyclone” on top of all the worst storms in the world history.
The 2008 MSNBC report stated: “The deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded history had hit East Pakistan in 1970. Low-lying islands were inundated, and entire villages were wiped out on November 12, 1970, when the “Bhola cyclone” swept over the Bengal coast. Crops were destroyed throughout the region. The storm and its aftermath killed as many as 500,000 people. At the time, East Pakistan was a province separated from the rest of Pakistan by hundreds of miles of Indian Territory. Political discord had been in the air even before the storm, but the Pakistani government came under severe criticism for its mishandling of relief operations afterward.”
According to MSNBC, storms in the Bay of Bengal have accounted for seven of the 10 deadliest hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in recorded history. The website of the noted US channel had revealed that the 1737 Hooghly River cyclone hitting India and Bangladesh had killed 350,000 human beings.
It said the 1881 Haiphong typhoon in Vietnam had perished 300,000 Vietnamese and the 1839 Coringa cyclone in India had led to 300,000 deaths.
According to “MSNBC,” the 1876 Backerganj cyclone in Bangladesh claimed 200,000 lives, the 1897 Chittagong cyclone striking Bangladesh killed 175,000 people and the 1975 Super Typhoon Nina in China led 1,71,000 people to their graves before time.
The US channel had maintained in its afore-quoted report four years ago while the 1991 Cyclone 02B rocking Bangladesh killed 140,000 people, the Great Bombay Cyclone of 1882 claimed a hundred thousand scalps in India.
As far as Hurricane Sandy is concerned, the October 28, 2012 edition of the esteemed British newspaper “The Daily Telegraph” wrote: “New York’s rail, subway and bus services, which are used by 8.5 million people daily, are being suspended amid fears that tunnels could flood. The New York Stock Exchange announced it would close its physical trading floor for the first time since 1985, and make transactions only electronically on Monday. The storm is expected to hit an 800-mile wide swath of north-east America that includes the cities of New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia, bringing 80mph winds.”
The afore-cited edition of the “Daily Telegraph” had added: “Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, ordered casinos in Atlantic City to shut and the gambling hub’s 30,000 residents were being taken to shelters. More than 5,000 flights into east coast airports have been cancelled. That included 2,300 on Monday at Newark, and New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, and 650 at Philadelphia. More than 60,000 National Guard troops in nine states have been put on standby.”