Everyday I do a little research and find events for that particular day. Sometimes it's a famous birthday or a bizarre holiday. Today it's a historical event. I learned about something that I didn't know before. I always appreciate learning. So I thought it would be a great idea to share it with my readers.
This day in history, December 6, 1917, Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) was shocked by something now known as the Halifax Explosion.
During the first world war, the Halifax Harbour was a crucial port for the Allies. Due to the success of German U-boat attacks, the Allies were forced to form convoys and used the Harbour as a starting point. The convoys would leave through the northwestern end of the Harbour which was guarded by anti-submarine nets and Royal Canadian Navy patrol ships.
In order to move between the Harbour and the basin, ships had to navigate something called "the Narrows". It was here that the Norwegian ship, Imo stubbornly refused to slow down or stop when they were met with warning signals from the French cargo ship, S S Mont-Blanc. This caused an inevitable collision, despite the Mont-Blanc's seasoned harbour pilot, Francis Makay. Unfortunately the Mont-Blanc was filled with munitions and the collision detonated a devastating explosion.
Smoke filled the air, rising over 6 100 metres (20 000 feet) and the explosion destroyed over 160 hectares (400 acres). The seismic force resulted in a 18 metre (60 foot) tsunami. Every building within 26 kilometres (16 miles) was destroyed or damaged while 1 600 people were immediately killed and 9 000 injured.
The resulting damages were worth about $35 million in 1917 but when adjusted for inflation, the damages would be over $531 million today.
The loss of life was horrific and what's worse, the relief efforts were not equally distributed. The black community known as Africville was heavily damaged but ignored by relief funds and reconstruction.
Death, destruction and on top of all that, racism. I wish I could say times have changed and this sort of behaviour is a thing of the past but unfortunately I can't.
Following the devastation of hurricane Katrina in 2005, I think it's obvious that the government was ignoring the citizens of New Orleans. Yet when New York was hit with hurricane Sandy, there was no end to the preparations and funds funneled into protecting the wealthy and white. I hope that people will realize sooner rather than later, that all lives are equal.
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