Hurricane Mitch was one of the most powerful and deadliest hurricanes
ever observed, with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph (290 km/h).
storm was the ninth hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season.
At the time, Mitch was the strongest hurricane ever observed in the
Atlantic Ocean in the month of October, though it has since been
surpassed by Hurricane Wilma. Mitch formed in the western Caribbean
Sea on October 22, and after drifting through extremely favorable
conditions, it rapidly strengthened to peak as a Category 5 status on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. After drifting southwestward and
weakening, the hurricane hit Honduras as a minimal hurricane. It
drifted through Central America, reformed in the Bay of Campeche, and
ultimately struck Florida as a strong tropical storm. Due to its
motion, Hurricane Mitch dropped historic amounts of rainfall from
October 29 to November 3, with unofficial reports of up to 75 inches
(1,900 mm). Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second
deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history. The flooding caused extreme
damage, amounting to around $7 billion (2005 USD).
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Today's selected anniversaries:
American Revolutionary War: The New Hampshire Militia led by John
Stark routed British and German troops under Friedrich Baum in the
Battle of Bennington.
Cavalry charged into a crowd, turning a public meeting in Manchester,
England into the Peterloo Massacre.
A group led by Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold near Dawson City,
Yukon, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800
feet (31,330 m), setting records for: high-altitude jump, free-fall
height, and fastest speed by a human without an aircraft.
The Beatles fired drummer Pete Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr.
Wikiquote of the day:
"The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly
indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame.
world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one
outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be
spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed,
by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human
action." -- Winston Churchill