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Great Hurricane of 1780

From Academic Kids

The Great Hurricane of 1780 is considered the deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclone of all time. About 22,000 people died when the storm swept over Martinique, St. Eustatius and Barbados between October 10 and October 16. Thousands of deaths also occurred offshore.

The hurricane struck the Caribbean in the midst of the American Revolution and took a heavy toll on the British and French fleets contesting for control of the area. British Admiral George Rodney, sailing from New York to the West Indies, had his fleet scattered and damaged by the storm. Arriving at Barbados, he found eight of 12 warships he had left there a total loss and most of their crews drowned.

A scout sent by the English Crown to survey the damage reported that the storm had lingered near Barbados for two days. The destruction was so great there that the scout mistakenly thought that an earthquake had accompanied the storm. The island had been almost completely leveled. Dozens of fishing boats had failed to return from their trips. Almost every family living on the island had had a family member die in the storm.

Other Atlantic storms that caused very high numbers of deaths include Hurricane Mitch and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.


Sources

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