No Living Being Would Have Escaped

by davidbunch - Date: 2010-07-27 - Word Count: 485 Share This!

Certain parts of the world are notoriously afflicted with earthquakes and others are almost entirely free from them. In the eastern hemisphere there is a broad earthquake belt that stretches from the Azores, in an easterly to southeasterly direction, through the Mediterranean region, the Persian Gulf, Northern India, Burma and the East Indies; another which embraces Japan and the other islands east of the Asiatic continent; and a third extending from the Caspian Sea across Turkestan into the heart of Asia. Elsewhere in Europe and Asia earthquakes are of occasional occurrence, but over the greaterr part of Africa and Australia they are very rare. Italy and Japan are the countries that have suffered the greatest number of destructive shocks. In the western hemisphere the majority of quakes occur along the Pacific coast of North and South America, but there is another quaky belt encircling the Caribbean Sea. Earthquake expert Dr. T.A. Jaggar has made an interesting analysis of the relative quakiness-or, as it is called in scientific language, the "seismicity."

This analysis leads to the remarkable result that eighty per cent of the inhabited area of the globe is decidedly quaky, belonging to the upper three grades of seismicity. A large part of the United States is comparatively stable, but, says the seismologist, "the district from Washington to Philadelphia (east slope of the Alleghanies) is No. 7, and comfortless emerge the relentless figures that show New York and New England to be in the same category, No. 8, with southern and central California, Cook's Inlet in Alaska and parts of New Zealand and Mexico." The supposed immunity of certain regions from earthquake visitations often proves illusory.

In an address before the Franklin Institute the Director of the Coast and Geodetic Institute said: "About 6pm. on June 28, 1925, the Olympian, a fast train of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Company, was proceeding with 350 passengers through Montana. Not a passenger gave thought to any danger and even the most timid had no fear beyond a train wreck. East of Lombard, at a small station called Deer Park, the track followed a narrow canyon. At one place it was so narrow that a short tunnel was found necessary. Adjacent to the tunnel there was a high cliff overhanging the railroad. It was apparently of solid rock and to all indications quite safe. Not even a seismologist anticipated an earthquake in this region. I have been informed that the Dominion Observatory experts at Ottawa could scarcely believe that their instruments were not deceiving them when they' located the earthquake in Montana. Sixty-eight seconds after the train passed through, the tunnel a large part of the cliff came down with a great roar, filling the end of the tunnel, deeply burying the track, and closing the canyon. Occurring a few seconds earlier, it would have buried the train from sight and no living being would have escaped."

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