HC Deb 04 June 1872 vol 211 cc1193-4

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he will state to the House the loss of life and ships, and the damage to public and private property, caused by the late hurricane at Madras, specifying the names of the ships and the number of native crafts; and, whether the Government of Madras is in possession of any steam tugs or other appliance by which assistance may be afforded to shipping on such occasions?


In reply, Sir, to the hon. Baronet, I have to say that all the information we have as yet received on the subject of the hurricane at Madras is contained in a telegram from the Governor of the 6th of May, which I will read— Disastrous cyclone here on 2nd of May. Following ships driven ashore and wrecked:—Sir Robert Seppings, Burlington, Ardberg, Armenian, John Scott, Hotspur, Misser, Kingdom of Belgium, and Invereshie. Captain Hobson and the chief officer of Ardberg and six of crew lost. Second and third officers, Morris and Boodle, of Hotspur, and Thompson (here follow two words which are unintelligible) of crew lost. Native crafts in port all sunk or driven on shore. Considerable loss of life feared. Loss of property serious. Madras pier breached. Extraordinary fall of rain reported from North Arcot and Tanjore from 30th of April to 2nd of May. Vellore town inundated from breached tanks. Immense damage to town and great loss of life among native population. Relief measures in progress; ship Isabel Croom dismasted near point Calimere; also ship Orissa,50 miles east of Madras. With regard to the second part of the hon. Baronet's Question, I am not aware that the Government of Madras has any steam tugs or other appliance by which assistance may be afforded to shipping on such occasions; but, at the same time, I cannot positively say that it has nothing of the kind.