was a powerful Category 5 hurricane
that hit Central America
during the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season
. It caused millions of US dollars
in damages and killed around 275 people. Tropical Storm Simone
was a Pacific tropical cyclone that was disputed whether it was a continuation of Hattie.
Hattie swept across the Caribbean
and came ashore in the town of Belize City
, British Honduras
), on October 31
. It was a strong Category 4
hurricane at landfall, having weakened from a Category 5
just offshore. On the other hand, Simone attained tropical storm status in the Pacific as Hattie passed near Belize. After Simone made landfall, its remnants crossed back over to the Gulf of Mexico, where Tropical Storm Inga developed. The role of the remnants of Simone in the formation of Inga is debatable.
While the viewpoint of U.S. Weather Bureau Office was that "the remnants of Hattie developed into neither Simone nor Inga, there are still disputes whether Hattie, Simone and Inga were indeed the same storm.
Hattie held Category 5 intensity on the dates of October 30 and October 31, making it the latest Category 5 storm on record in the Atlantic basin.
Heavy rains fell across the Cayman Islands and Central America. Reports were scant from the region, but Grand Cayman reported of rain in 24 hours, with falling in the six hour period between 1 am and 7 am LT . Hattie destroyed parts of British Honduras
, and killed an estimated 275 people . In the days after the storm, throngs of survivors numbering in the thousands roamed the streets for days digging about in the crumbled ruins in search of any kind of food. Hattie also caused about $60 million (1961 US dollars
) in damage. Hattie damaged Belize City
badly enough to force the government to relocate to a new capital further inland: its present location in Belmopan
. Some permanent towns, such as Hattieville
, were formed from temporary shelters built for those made homeless by the hurricane.
Violence broke out in the aftermath of the storm, causing the British frigate, HMS Troubridge, to land 125 officers and men to aid colony police in halting widespread looting and pillaging.
The name Hattie was retired the following year and will never be used by an Atlantic hurricane
again. It was replaced by Holly