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.

In Java, 300 miles away, ashes filled the air so thickly that the solar rays could not penetrate them, and fell to the depth of several inches.  The detonations were so similar to the reports of artillery as to be mistaken for them.  The Rajah of Sang’ir, who was an eye-witness of the eruption, thus described it to Sir Stamford: 

“About 7 P. M. on the 10th of April, three distinct columns of flame burst forth near the top of the Tomboro mountain (all of them apparently within the verge of the crater), and, after ascending separately to a very great height, their tops united in the air in a troubled, confused manner.  In short time the whole mountain next Sang’ir appeared like a body of liquid fire, extending itself in every direction.  The fire and columns of flame continued to rage with unabated fury, until the darkness caused by the quantity of falling matter obscured them, at about 8 P. M. Stones at this time fell very thick at Sang’ir—­some of them as large as two fists, but generally not larger than walnuts.  Between 9 and 10 P. M. ashes began to fall, and soon after a violent whirlwind ensued, which blew down nearly every house in the village of Sang’ir—­carrying the roofs and light parts away with it.  In the port of Sang’ir, adjoining Tomboro, its effects were much more violent—­tearing up by the roots the largest trees, and carrying them into the air, together with men, horses, cattle, and whatever else came within its influence.  This will account for the immense number of floating trees seen at sea.  The sea rose nearly twelve feet higher than it had ever been known to do before, and completely spoiled the only spots of rice-land in Sang’ir—­sweeping away houses and everything within its reach.  The whirlwind lasted about an hour.  No explosions were heard till the whirlwind had ceased, at about 11 P.M.  From midnight till the evening of the 11th, they continued without intermission.  After that time their violence moderated, and they were heard only at intervals; but the explosions did not cease entirely until the 15th of July.  Of all the villages of Tomboro, Tempo, containing about forty inhabitants, is the only one remaining.  In Pekate no vestige of a house is left; twenty-six of the people, who were at Sumbawa at the time, are the whole of the population who have escaped.  From the most particular inquiries I have been able to make, there were certainly no fewer than 12,000 individuals in Tomboro and Pekate at the time of the eruption, of whom only five or six survive.  The trees and herbage of every description, along the whole of the north and west sides of the peninsula, have been completely destroyed, with the exception of those on a high point of land, near the spot where the village of Tomboro stood.”

Tomboro village was not only invaded by the sea on this occasion, but its site permanently subsided; so that there is now eighteen feet of water where there was formerly dry land.


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