20 September 2017

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, resulting in 2,975 deaths, US$90 billion in damage, and a major humanitarian crisis

Hurricane Maria was a powerful and devastating Category 5 hurricane that struck the Caribbean and the southeastern United States in September 2017. It was the tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, and one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States territory of Puerto Rico.
Formation and Development: Hurricane Maria originated from a tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa in late September 2017. It rapidly intensified and reached Category 5 status on September 18, 2017, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).

Impact on the Caribbean: Maria first made landfall in Dominica on September 18, causing catastrophic damage and resulting in numerous fatalities. It then continued its path through the eastern Caribbean, causing significant damage and loss of life in places like Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several other islands in the region.

Puerto Rico Impact: Puerto Rico was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Maria. The storm made landfall on the island on September 20, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). The island’s infrastructure, including its power grid, was severely damaged, leading to months-long power outages and a humanitarian crisis. Many homes were destroyed, and the island faced shortages of clean water, food, and medical supplies.

Humanitarian Crisis: The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico led to a significant humanitarian crisis. The slow and inadequate response from both the local and federal governments drew widespread criticism. The lack of timely assistance and recovery efforts contributed to a high death toll, with estimates of the total number of fatalities varying, but it is clear that thousands of lives were lost due to the hurricane and its aftermath.

Recovery Efforts: Recovery and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico were long and challenging. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other organizations provided aid and assistance, but the process was slow, and many residents faced ongoing hardships for months.

Economic Impact: The economic impact of Hurricane Maria was substantial. The damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism had a lasting effect on the economy of Puerto Rico and other affected areas.

20 September 1967

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched Clydebank, Scotland.

The following day, Wednesday, September 20, 1967, a ship that would play a very important part in the life of the Port of New York, Cunard’s QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was launched at Clydebank, Scotland. She has since visited the port more times than probably any other ocean liner.

The Port of New York was not the scene for the historical maritime event of this day. It took place over 3000 miles away at Clydebank, Scotland in the shipyard of John Brown & Company Limited. An ocean liner that was destined to play a major role in the life of the Port of New York was under construction there. On September 20, 1967 Her Majesty The Queen named the new Cunard liner that was being built in the same place as many Cunard liners of the past. On the same stocks were constructed QUEEN ELIZABETH, QUEEN MARY, AQUITANIA, and LUSITANIA. This newest Cunarder, yard No.736, known up to now as “Q4” was scheduled to be launched on this day.

20 September 1854

British and French troops defeat Russians in Crimea in the Battle of Alma.


Battle of Alma, victory by the British and the French in the Crimean War that left the Russian naval base of Sevastopol vulnerable and endangered the entire Russian position in the war. It is generally considered the first battle of the Crimean War.

Commanded by Prince Aleksandr Menshikov, the Russians had occupied a position on the heights above the Alma River in southwestern Crimea, thus blocking the road to Sevastopol. In order to advance, the allied French and British army would have to assault Telegraph Hill, and to the east, Kourgane Hill, both of which were topped with Russian redoubts. The valley in between led to Sevastopol, but no advance would be possible, even with their numerical advantage, if the Russians held the two hills.

The allies landed on the Crimean Peninsula some 35 miles north of Sevastopol on September 14. Suffering from dysentery and cholera, it would be six days before the armies headed south. It was at the Alma, the second of the east-west rivers north of the Sevastopol, where they enjoyed a prime defensive position, that the Russians decided to stand their ground on September 20.

To attack the Russians, the French commander, General Jacques St. Arnaud, decided to cross the river under the cover of a naval bombardment and scale the cliffs with a detachment of French troops. This would divert the Russians and allow the British to attack the redoubts. The French part of the plan began successfully but lost momentum, and the Russians restored their lines. As a result, the British attack faltered and their battalions became entangled in chaos.