24 APRIL 1886, Page 3

Calamities in Austria always assume large proportions. The town of

Stry, in Galicia, was on the 17th inst. totally destroyed by fire, and seven thousand people rendered homeless. Only one or two buildings were saved, and the wretched people, with the relics of their furniture, encamped in the plain, amidst blinding snow, which fell immediately after the fire. All food had been destroyed ; the nearest town, Lemberg, had not enough to send ; and the people were in danger of starvation. To add to the misery, all prisoners were released, and with the peasants of the neighbouring villages went about plundering such of the inhabitants as were Jews, who form a large portion of the popu- lation. The provincial authorities bestirred themselves ; but there seems to have been lack either of energy or resources, and an outbreak of famine-fever is apprehended. We do not see why, as the railway was intact, Stry could not have been declared a fortress, and the population sheltered and rationed for a month or two as if they had been soldiers.