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Hurricane Janet, 1955 #495469
09/07/14 03:00 PM
09/07/14 03:00 PM
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Marty Offline OP

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Hurricane Janet, Damage Report: Sept. 27-28, 1955

Interesting report with details about the storm, damage reports, and a lot of historical information. 14mb PDF…. 44 pages...

CLICK HERE FOR THE REPORT

First four pages below....







60 years ago on September 27th Hurricane Janet hit Corozal Town with winds of 175 mph, one of the strongest hurricanes on record. The storm left 16 persons dead and more than $4 million in damages. Over 20,000 people were left homeless within the districts of Corozal and Orange Walk.

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Destruction of Corozal Town by Hurricane Janet Above: (foreground) St. Francis Xavier Church, (left) Town Hall, (top) Fort Barlee

Hurricane Janet, Survivor stories and the Nukux Tat (Tataduende)

Carmita Garcia, now a housewife, was 10 years old when Janet struck Corozal. She was one of many youths who had never experienced a hurricane. She remembers sort of hoping that the hurricane would strike Belize, not knowing the tragedy that awaited her family. She lived at Aventura with her father, mother, three sisters, and one brother. They heard over the radio that the hurricane would strike and they all made preparations. Carmita’s father told the children not to run outside for any reason, even if the house was falling on them.

The hurricane arrived and the Garcias were sleeping while the winds blew stronger and stronger. The house was falling on them and their father told them to go under the bed, but the wind opened the door. Carmita and her other little sister panicked and ran outside for safety, not realizing that they were endangering their lives. The wind blew Carmita about six miles from her house into a big hole in a tree trunk. There she spent many hours of hurricane, wind, thunder, and lightning. Her other sister, Linda, was also blown away by the wind but she was stuck to a big tree trunk not far from the house. A piece of a zinc roof covered the opening of the trunk where she passed the rest of the hurricane safely.

When the hurricane was over, everything had been destroyed. Carmita’s parents and friends began look for the girls, and Linda was found that same morning. But Carmita was not found until the seventh day of the search. She remembers that an old man with a big hat took care of her. When she was found she had on her waist nine corns and two squash cups called "leek" in Mayan. The bush doctor(Curandero) told her that it was the Tataduende who took care of Carmita. She is presently living at San Jose, Orange Walk District, with her husband, nine children, and many grandchildren.

Felipe Loria, a farmer from Xaibe Village, was 30 during Hurricane Janet. He says that recently, when Hurricane Mitch was threatening Belize, he heard youths talking about waiting to experience the hurricane. He said these youths did not have the slightest idea of what a hurricane is. He prays to God never again to experience one.

Mr. Loria can recall when he and his wife and four children went to shelter at the only safe place in the village which was the church. At that time Xaibe was very small and only a few people lived there. Everyone sheltered at the church for safety. Before the hurricane started the wind was calm, but soon it became so strong that most of the windows of the church were blown away. About ten men were holding the front door to keep the wind from taking it also. Then the door came loose and the wind blew it away along with the men who had been holding it. Everyone in the church began to pray. AFter the hurricane the only building left standing was the church, but without windows or doors. No one was killed but most of the men were injured. There was no shelter, food, or water left to drink. All the trees had been blown down and you could see the sea from the village.

Maria Gomez, now a housewife, was about 12 years old, living in a two-story wooden building in Corozal Town. Her parents heard on the radio that Janet was coming, and took their family to the Corozal Town Hall. The wind got so strong that the walls were cracking and the building seemed about to fall. The wind stopped but the radio said not to come out until they said to do so. They ran out of fresh water and had to drink muddy water. Finally the radio said they could leave their shelters.

Maria remembers that her father had gotten drunk, and told his wife to go home and make tea for all the people that had sheltered at the Town Hall. When they got home they saw their house on the ground with all the other buildings, and her father started to cry because they had lost everything. She said she still remembers it very well.

Emeterio Bacab, a cane farmer, was 21 when he heard there was a hurricane coming. He and his family started preparing their things and asked for shelter. He says no help was available so they stayed at their own little hut. When the hurricane started the wind blew very fiercely. They heard a loud noise when a neighbor’s roof caved in. Mr. Bacab and his brothers went to help, and a post fell on Mr. Bacab’s shoulder. He was taken to a shelter to be treated. After the hurricane everyone helped each other find missing persons and to recover what belongings they could. He worked very hard to get back the things they had lost.

Today aged over 70, Aida Garcia was 27 when Janet struck. She was a housewife in Corozal Town. She was sheltered at Santa Rita Hill at the rum distillery belonging to Mr. Luis Ramirez. She went to the shelter with her husband, Gregorio Garcia, and four children ages 5, 3, 1, and 2-month-old baby.

She says that around midnight the ceiling of the building blew away and the people became desperate. Mr. Garcia overturned vats (wooden containers) and put his wife and children in them. The other men did the same for their families. They spent the rest of the hurricane inside those vats. There were some minor injuries but everyone survived.

Courtesy Belize Yucatec Maya


Fort George and American Consulate after Hurricane Janet


1931 Hurricane at Barracks


Food line after the 1931 Hurricane


Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #533995
12/28/18 04:21 AM
12/28/18 04:21 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,511
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Chronicle of a disaster: Hurricane Janet

In this capsule we present you a part of what was the catastrophe that changed the life of an entire city and its inhabitants, the event that frame an end and the rebirth of a new city that demonstrated to the world the courage of a people and the Love for his land Chetumal.


Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #543171
06/25/20 06:29 AM
06/25/20 06:29 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,511
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Infamous Hurricane Janet was the most powerful tropical cyclone of the 1955 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. Janet was also the first named storm to have 1,000 deaths and the first Category 5 named storm to be retired. Hurricane Janet devastated Corozal Town on the 27th and 28th of September, 1955.

It took the lives of 16 persons and caused almost four million dollars in damage. 300 persons sought refuge in the Corozal Town Hall. Roughly ten houses were left standing. Winds of up to 175 miles an hour also crushed neighboring Chetumal, Mexico. For weeks the road to Belize City was impassable.

Though tragic, it also created an opportunity for rebuilding by a band of workers lead by Mr. H. C. Fairweather along with Mayor Santiago Ricalde, who took a grant of 3.5 million dollars and created a new township, complete with modern electricity, water, and sewage. Thus Corozal Town may have the distinction of being the only community in Belize planned and laid out by professionals.

Images courtesy of Jorge Clarke, Belize Archives & Records Service.

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Hurricane Janet was the most powerful tropical cyclone of the 1955 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. Janet was also the first named storm to have 1,000 deaths and the first Category 5 named storm to be retired. On the 27th of September, 1955, Hurricane Janet, not content with battering Grenada, turned Corozal Town into rubble. Only about ten houses were left standing. Winds of up to 175 miles an hour also crushed neighboring Chetumal, Mexico. For weeks the road to Belize City was littered with trees, shrubbery, and other debris. Hurricane Janet devastated Corozal Town on the 27th and 28th of September, 1955. It took the lives of 16 persons and caused almost four million dollars in damage. 300 persons sought refuge in the Corozal Town Hall. Roughly ten houses were left standing. Winds of up to 175 miles an hour also crushed neighboring Chetumal, Mexico. For weeks the road to Belize City was impassable. Though tragic, it also created an opportunity for rebuilding by a band of workers lead by Mr. H. C. Fairweather along with Mayor Santiago Ricalde, who took a grant of 3.5 million dollars and created a new township, complete with modern electricity, water, and sewage. Thus Corozal Town may have the distinction of being the only community in Belize planned and laid out by professionals.

Belize Archives & Records Service

Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #543199
06/26/20 11:31 AM
06/26/20 11:31 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Copies of the Daily Clarion Newspaper from September 27th through to Oct 19th of 1955 . The publication documents impending Hurricane Janet, the damages and deaths, as well as relief aid to Corozal's worst natural disaster in modern times.

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Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #543200
06/26/20 11:32 AM
06/26/20 11:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,511
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
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Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #543215
06/27/20 07:03 AM
06/27/20 07:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,511
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Image of what was left of the church after Hurricane Janet. This is the old Catholic Church located near the corner of 1st Street North and 4th Avenue in Corozal.

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A later pic of the floor of the church, barracks had been established in relief efforts after Hurricane Janet.

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September 26, US Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft Snowcloud Five, operating out of NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, headed south-southwest over the Caribbean into Janet. At that time Janet was a Category 4 hurricane packing winds over 140 mph. The plane never returned, lost at sea while penetrating the eye of the storm.

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Thank you letter written to Hon. Jose Leon Chin of Corozal

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Re: Hurricane Janet, 1955 [Re: Marty] #545158
09/28/20 04:43 AM
09/28/20 04:43 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,511
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Hurricane Janet, a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 200 mph; reported as the most catastrophic cyclone in the history of the country, claimed the lives of 16 people.

Below is a short story that was published in the then Belize Today News paper in 1990 titled "Hurricane Janet". this was taken from the booklet (Stories with a Belizean Background) by H Escalente and illustrated by H. Ocaeta jr.

September 27th 2020 marks 65 years it had hit the northern part of Belize.

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By the poniente, the city and bay of Chetumal welcome the visitor with this pleasant gardens and benches. At its center is a large sculpture called ′′ Renaissance ", which recalls the terrible fury of Hurricane Janet. September 27, 1955

On September 27, 1955, Hurricane Janet arrived at Chetumal, a city with a major population, things changed forever: on the dawn of September 28, the city disappears, leaving only planks and sheets scattered around many miles, Hurricane Janet, with winds of over 280 km. by the hour, devastated her to its foundation, leaving, according to estimates of the chronicler Herrera Muñoz, more than 300 dead.

Janet took part of the water from Chetumal Bay, just as it happened in 1998 with Mitch, who threatened the state's south but finally hit in Central America.

′′ This cyclone is considered one of the most fatal and devastating of the past century ", meteor struck with such force that it nearly destroyed the city and killed about eight hundred of its eight thousand inhabitants. The phenomenon became a painful historic partaguas, and still today chetumaleños often refer to the local past in terms of ′′ before Janet ′′ and ′′ after Janet

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