A law of journalese requires that havoc must be wreaked. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Boy, did that wreak havoc!!” Right: never. It’s journalese, mainly used in headlines, no matter where or why the particular havoc had been wreaked. An illustration was in headlines in stories in The Boston Globe and Boston Herald, both on Sept. 16, 2018.
Globe: “At least 16 dead as typhoon wreaks havoc in Philippines.”
Herald: “Outages, shutdowns, wreak havoc on local businesses.”