The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire eBook

Charles W. Morris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire.

Extinct volcanoes are numerous in Luzon, and there are smoking cones in the north, and also in the Babuyanes Islands still farther north.  Volcanoes also exist in several of the other islands.  On Negros is the active peak of Malaspina, and on Camiguin, an island about ninety miles to the southeast, a new volcano broke out in 1876.  The large island of Mindanao has three volcanoes, of which Cottabato was in eruption in 1856 and is still active at intervals.  Apo, the largest of the three, estimated to be 10,312 feet high, has three summits, within which lies the great crater, now extinct and filled with water.

In evidence of former volcanic activity are the abundant deposits of sulphur on the island of Leyte, the hot springs in various localities, and the earthquakes which occasionally bring death and destruction.  Of the many of these on record, the most destructive was in 1863, when 400 people were killed and 2,000 injured, while many buildings were wrecked.  Another in 1880 wrought great destruction in Manila and elsewhere, though without loss of life.  An earthquake in Mindanao in 1675 opened a passage to the sea, and a vast plain emerged.  These convulsions of the earth affect the form and elevation of buildings, which are rarely more than two stories high and lightly built, while translucent sea-shells replace glass in their windows.

While Java is the most prolific in volcanoes of the islands of the Malayan Archipelago, other islands of the group possess active cones, including Sumatra, Bali, Amboyna, Banda and others.  In Sanguir, an island north of Celebes, is a volcanic mountain from which there was a destructive eruption in 1856.  The country was devastated with lava, stones and volcanic ashes, ruining a wide district and killing nearly 3,000 of the inhabitants.  Mount Madrian in one of the Spice Islands, was rent in twain by a fierce eruption in 1646, and since then has remained two distinct mountains.  It became active again in 1862, after two centuries of repose, and caused great loss of life and property.  Sorea, a small island of the same group, forming but a single volcanic mountain, had an eruption in 1693, the cone crumbling gradually till a vast crater was formed, filled with liquid lava and occupying nearly half the island.  This lake of fire increased in size by the same process till in the end it took possession of the island and forced all the inhabitants to flee to more hospitable shores.


But of the East Indian Islands Sumbawa, lying east of Java, contains the most formidable volcano—­one indeed scarcely without a rival in the world.  This is named Tomboro.  Of its various eruptions the most furious on record was that of 1815.  This, as we are told by Sir Stamford Raffles, far exceeded in force and duration any of the known outbreaks of Etna or Vesuvius.  The ground trembled and the echoes of its roar were heard through an area of 1,000 miles around the volcano, and to a distance of 300 miles its effects were astounding.

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The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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