St. Kitts and Nevis's Vulnerability to Natural Disasters

St. Kitts and Nevis's geographical location, in the hurricane belt between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and its island status make St. Kitts and Nevis highly
vulnerable to natural disasters
, mostly to hurricanes and flooding, and occasional volcanic and tectonic activity. The consequences of these natural disasters
can have a severe impact on economic activities, property, human welfare, and natural resources
. A European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO)
diagnostic study reports that between 1900 and 1996,
Caribbean countries had sustained 309 disaster events resulting in over 72,000 deaths and
approximately 12 million people affected.


1626:               St. Kitts - Bloody Point was the location where th French & British forces massacred over 2000 Carib Indians.
A hurricane destroyed all the houses on the island of St. Kitts
1667:               A hurricane destroyed all the houses on the island of St. Kitts
6th April 1690   An earthquake caused serious damage throughout St. Kitts & Nevis     First hand details of 1690 Earthquake
                  St. Kitts – There were cracks in the ground as wide as 9 feet in some areas. The Jesuit college and other wooden structures collapsed.
Nevis – The sea was disturbed and a tsunami appears to have affected Charlestown.
10th April 1690
Jamestown, former Capital of Nevis, reportedly destroyed by an earthquake & subsequent Tsunami at 5 pm
31 Aug 1772:     
Hurricane caused £500 000 worth of damage on St. Kitts  (The cost in 2010 E.C. dollars must be close to 2.5 billion)
4th Sept 1776    A fire caused significant loss of property in St. Kitts.  It was followed only a day later by a hurricane.
1790                 Major flooding torment the inhabitants of Basseterre.
9th Sept 1821    Destructive Hurricane
17th Aug 1827   Destructive Hurricane
12th Aug 1835   Destructive Hurricane
1833                 Dreadful Earthquakes affected Nevis
October 1836    
MV Clarendon while travelling from Basseterre, St. Kitts to England with cargo of rum, sugar, arrow root, coconuts and turtles, sought shelter in
                  Portsmouth after crossing the Atlantic but without success. The ship had encountered strong winds while crossing the Atlantic. The ship sunk when
                  it came under hurricane force winds while trying to get to Plymouth for shelter. 13 sailors and 10 passengers perished with 3 crewman saved.
8th Feb 1843    
Earthquake affecting Nevis - Charlestown Court House to the ground. Bath house much damaged. Custom House partly down and all the Mills
                  in the island more or less injured, nearly the whole of the town destroyed, most of the wood built houses are left standing, all the stone buildings are
                  so injured that they must be taken down and rebuilt, estimated damage at £50,000 only 2 Mills on the island that can be worked.
St. Christopher - Basseterre Church irreparably injured. The Churches of St. Peter's, St. Mary's, Cayon, P. Point, Old Road, and Sandy Point are
                  materially injured The town of Basseterre has suffered severely. Wall House in the square down. Part of the Reading Room - Mr. Matthew's Store -
                  all down. The House occupied by the Director of the West India Bank nearly down, and every stone building in town so much injured, that it will be
                  necessary to take down many of them. One house in town partly sunk into the cellar. All the Estates throughout the island much injured. Steam
                  Engines, Boiling Houses, Dwelling Houses, and works, levelled with the earth. The works of the Bevon Island Estate thrown into a ravine below
                  them. The loss of property in stores, furniture, etc., very great. Four Mile Bridge undermined.
First hand account for St. Kitts & Nevis
1854:               Cholera Epidemic - It was estimated that one sixth of the population died from the disease. 3,920 persons died in St. Kitts and 891 in Nevis.
2nd July 1867   The great fire of 1867 left damage throughout Basseterre.  It started on the late in the night of the 2nd July at a bakery that was located on the
                  corner of Central Street and West Independence Square Street.  It quickly spread to the Bay Road and as far west as Salt Pond Alley. Before the
                  night was out the whole of Cayon Street, west to the police station had been destroyed.  Many people were homeless and food was scarce as most
                  businesses had lost significant inventory to the flames.
21st Aug 1871   Destructive Hurricane
12th Sept 1876  Destructive Hurricane
4th? Jan 1880:   
St. Kitts - Disastrous flooding of Basseterre - 231 persons died
7th Aug 1899     Destructive Hurricane
28th Aug 1924   Destructive Hurricane
13th Sept 1928   Destructive Hurricane
M.V. Crown sank in the Caribbean sea while travelling from Nevis to St. Kitts with a crew of eight, captained by Elenezer Hicks.
                   3 crewmen drowned and the boat was not found.  
Poem by Marcella Queeley Jones
1950's :             Severe earthquakes strike St. Kitts & Nevis
1950's :             
M.V. Lady Nisbett and M.V. Enterprise mishap/accident (details being sought)
10th April 1950:
12 persons died in a stampede on Easter Monday at Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts when a crowd ran into a passageway to escape from rain (108)
1st Aug 1970:    
M.V. Christena Disaster (227 persons die in boat incident in the Narrows, between St. Kitts & Nevis)  Christena Tragedy     Memorial Lg Pics
1974                 An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck the Leeward Islands causing significant damage. St. George's Anglican Church damage
1982                 The Court House in St. Kitts was burnt to the ground in 1982 and rebuilt in 1995.
17th Sept 1989:  Hurricane Hugo impacts St. Kitts & Nevis (details to be posted)
5th Sept 1995:    Hurricane Luis impacts St. Kitts & Nevis (details to be posted)
15th Sept 1995:  Hurricane Marilyn impacts St. Kitts & Nevis (details to be posted)
1998                 Major flooding continues to torment the inhabitants of Basseterre.
21st Sept 1998:  Hurricane Georges impacts St. Kitts & Nevis (details to be posted)
18th Nov 1999:  Hurricane Lenny severely damages the Nevis coastline, Four Seasons Hotel, Deep Water Harbours (St. Kitts & Nevis)
Oct 2008:          Hurricane Omar severely damages the Four Seasons Hotel causing the Hotel to be closed for more than 1 year.

(More past disaster events to be posted)
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