What are you more interested in? Natural disasters that affect two countries in less than a week? A manmade disaster that has the ability to wipe out more than a 2 km radius of one whole town? Or a crazy pandemic that has the ability to wipe-out and affect almost the entire world? I guess by the end of my essay, you’ll have to decide.
On October 15th, 1954, the most famous hurricane in Canadian history struck Southern Ontario. It was Canada`s worst hurricane, and Toronto`s worst natural disaster. During this storm, winds reached 110 kilometers per hour and 285 millimeters of rain fell within 48 hours. (Embedded work cited). On October 15th, 1954, hurricane hunters found Hurricane Hazel around 50 miles off of the coast of Grenada. As Hurricane Hazel flew through Haiti, it left a death toll of around 1,000 people. Hurricane Hazel then flew through the Bahamas’, leaving six dead. When Hurricane Hazel reached South Carolina, it destroyed the entire town, and left only 275 homes safe to live in. In the United States, it is estimated that the cost of damage was $1.5 billion. This horrific storm left nearly 1900 families homeless, and caused over $1 billion in damages.
Toronto was also a city that had been heavily damaged by Hurricane Hazel. It began to rain heavily on Toronto, underpasses and bridges began collecting water, but then the storm began to die down. "The worst is yet to come. This is the pause that always comes during a hurricane." (Betty Kennedy, Hurricane Hazel, 1979). Hazel's effects on the Humber River caused the most damage and destruction for Toronto. Water quickly began to gather in the Humber River due to the amount of deforestation that had occurred at the river… and the flood plains that were helping keep the days’ worth of rain intact, could no longer hold the heavy downpour. As the flooding continued, forty highways and main roads were immersed with water. Trains were falling off their tracks, and forty bridges were destroyed or seriously damaged. There was great loss in Hurricane Hazel, 4,000 families were left homeless in Southern Ontario (1,868 in Toronto) and 81 deaths just in Ontario. (Embedded work cited)
Lessons have been learned since Hurricane Hazel. Conservation authorities, local municipalities, and the province together, established a complete plan for flood control and water conservation to significantly reduce the risk to losing more life and property. After Hazel, the Metropolitan Toronto and Region conservation authorities generated a plan to create large dams and major flood control channels and to properly initiate an erosion control program; the Conservation Authority Act was passed, which allowed the government to take a total of 7,200 acres of land for the process of creating dams and channels. New procedures have taken place since Hurricane Hazel, to restrict new development in flood plains, allowing rivers to flow naturally and reducing the risk to people and their property during flooding.
Hurricane Hazel has taught Canada, the value of having strict environmental safety precautions, no matter how often we get hurricanes or storms. We now have a stronger and more precise plan; in which another hurricane was to come to Ontario. This will help save more lives in Canada and will help us to further develop ourselves as a country. On 6 December 1917, the Mont Blanc, a French vessel loaded with 2.9 kilotons of explosives, collided with the Belgian relief ship, Imo, in Halifax harbour. The Halifax Explosion was a disaster that occurred in a thriving city at a time of war. The Explosion was the outcome of a collision between two ships in the Halifax Harbour. At 9:04 a.m. on the morning of December 6, 1917, a munitions ship, the Mont-Blanc exploded, immediately killing more than 1600 men, women, and children. More than 9000 others were injured, and around 12,000 buildings were damaged. At this time in Halifax, it was a busy wartime port city. Its harbour was filled with…