Sixty thousand persons drowned in India.
Later advices reveal the full extent of the disaster inflicted by the terrible cyclone in India
A Calcutta letter to the London Times
, just received, says:
"I see that the news of twelve thousand persons having been lost in the cyclone was received with incredulity in England
The estimate was wide of the truth, but only because it vastly underrated the calamity.
As every one who knows this country will readily conceive, there is no possibility of ascertaining precisely the loss of life, because hundreds might be swept away and leave no trace behind.
But we are not without data for arriving at a conclusion, and it has now been calculated that there can not be fewer than sixty thousand persons drowned or otherwise killed by that fearful storm.
In the island of Saugor alone, before the cyclone, there were eight thousand two hundred persons.--There are now about one thousand two hundred; nor have any left it to go elsewhere.
Seven thousand were carried clean away by the storm wave.--All up the river the population has been swept off, if not in the same proportion, yet in very large numbers.
As we all anticipated, disease is raging everywhere — cholera, fever and small-pox.
The epidemic fever, which I have mentioned in previous letters this year, is depopulating whole districts.
A magistrate told me the other day that he had been riding through a village in which there was hardly a grown-up person left.
They had died without hope of assistance, without medicine, without food — for the crops are rotting on the ground in many places where the salt water rushed in, The Bengalese
are in a deplorable plight, and the zemindars increase the general misery by turning the ryets out of their huts because they are behindhand with their rents.
There is money enough here to give relief — such relief as can be got for money.
But human means seem quite powerless to stop the awful diseases that are walking through the land, carrying thousands before them.
The native feels himself ill, wraps himself in his blanket, says it is fate, and so perishes.
In this enormous population — let it be remembered that here in Bengal alone we have at least forty-five million of people — the few Europeans can only do good here and there, and yet it is solely by Europeans that good is being done.
The rich native will not help his countrymen.
God gave him his money, and God intended him to keep it. That is pretty much his mode of reasoning.
Sometimes the fever strikes him, and then in abject terror he offers English doctors a fee of five hundred rupees to come and visit him. In a recent case of that sort, the man — who was worth about four millions sterling — had refused to give a pice to the poor after the cyclone.
When death was at his throat he altered his mind, and promised large benefactions if he recovered.
He was not spared to add falsehood to his cruel service."