The San Zenon Hurricane that affected Santo Domingo in 1930 remains as a painful memory. On September 3 it landed near the city and left behind widespread destruction like seen in wars and many victims.
Thousands of Dominicans were victims of its fierce winds, drenching rains and horrible surf. The dead were so many and their stench was covering the town from end to end, that quickly they had to be buried in a common tomb. To ensure the stench didn’t affect the city, the site of the common tomb was outside the city to the west, ensuring that whatever smells would go away from the town as usual winds blow east to west. A few years later the unmarked common tomb area was covered with the construction of Ramfis Park, today Eugenio María de Hostos Park. The aftermath was indescribable.
Map of Santo Domingo (1925)
Images of Santo Domingo Before, During and After San Zenon
The Increase in Trujillo’s Popularity
At the time of the destruction, General Rafael Leonidas Trujiilo was sworn as president for the first time a couple of weeks before. His zeal in the search efforts, discipline and leadership caused that in a short time Santo Domingo was reflourishing as a town. This quick recuperation earned Trujillo the respects of the citizenry within the city and the Dominican Republic in general. At this time he wasn’t a dictator, but a new president who through his own leadership abilities took Santo Domingo from the abiss and placed it the center of city development in the early to mid XX century. This marvelous beginning quickly became into one of the longest dictatorship in the Americas.
San Zenon Remembered
San Zenon Hurricane is done with, but this nightmare will always be remembered for the great destruction it caused in the in Santo Domingo.