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Photostudio Lai Afong [Attributed to]
Quarter of Canton [Guangzhou] after a typhoon
© Photoinstitut Bonartes
This photograph was included in the exhibition "Einblicke in die Fotosammlung der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft" (Photoinstitut Bonartes).
A personal account of the 1874 typhoon is provided in Walter William Mundy Canton and the Bogue. The Narrative of an eventful six months in China (London: Samuel Tinsley, 1875)
"...the storm commenced with a violent wind suddenly springing up, and it soon became so irresistible in its might that no obstacle seemed able to retard it. As the night wore on, the destruction increased, and each fresh blast of the hurricane was the doom of houses and of ships. The bars across the windows snapt one after the other with a report like that of cannon; and the Venetians, torn from their fastenings and banging against the wall, increased the noise, till at last the wind swept them completely off, and rushed into the house with a shriek, as if about to carry everything before it. The washing stands were in the verandah, and the wind caught the jugs and basins up as if they were but leaves, and smashed them in all directions. The glass doors leading into the bedrooms were then taken bodily off their hinges, and fragments of the glass were scattered throughout the house. Many pieces fell on my bed, but I escaped without any bad cuts. The doors throughout the different corridors were the next to succumb; and now the risk became very great that the wind would lift the roof completely off the house, which actually happened to many other houses in the colony. To add to the confusion of the scene, the wind got into the pipes and put the gas out, leaving us in total darkness." (p.237-238)