T he hurricane of 1931 had its twin. It was Janet in 1955. And Hurricane Hattie of 1961 had its twin; it was Mitch in 1998. A look at these four diagrams can show very close similarities between the twins.
(Diagram 1) Hurricane 0304 of 1931 struck Belize on September 10". The hurricane center carried winds of 130 miles per hour and the eye hit land some 25 miles north of Belize City, around Caye Caulker and San Pedro. In Belize City, people were dragged out to sea and some 3000 persons lost their lives. In San Pedro, six thatch houses remained standing.
(Diagram 2) Hurricane Janet of 1955, the first lady storm to hit Belize, struck Belize on September 281. The eye of the storrn packed winds of 135 miles per hour and it made landfall on a small Mexican village just north of San Pedro, a village named X'calak. In Corozal town, the eye reached winds of up to 150 knots. There were devastating winds and massive flooding in the northern districts, only 16 deaths, but 20,000 persons were left homeless. In San Pedro, the houses on back street were damaged, the beach homes and lots were buried in tons and tons of sand, and the beach grew by many feet.
(Diagram 3) Hurricane Hattie struck Belize on October 3 1 It, 196 1. It was formed inside of the Caribbean and traveled up north towards Cuba. Then like a boomerang, it took a curve and made its way to Belize. The eye revolved winds of 115 0 miles per hour with gusts estimated to have reached 200 miles per hour. The eye passed between Belize City and Dangriga leaving 307 deaths in Belize City alone. It was this hurricane that prompted George Price and the People's United Party government to build a new capital city (Belmopan) that would provide a safer place during hurricanes.
(Diagram 4) And look at how similar Mitch of 1998 was to Hattie. It was formed in the same general area and took the same curve towards Belize except that Mitch went a little more southward making landfall in Honduras instead of Belize. Mitch was a catastrophic hurricane with winds up to 180 miles per hour, and the rest of it is history for you and me. It has been 37 years since we have been directly hit and Twenty Five Years Ago prays that it will not be soon for us to get another scare. I hope we all learned our lesson, that is, we are in the hands of God. Let's pray for protection against the next set of twins.