The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 85
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CRY OF DISTRESS IN GALVESTON. 85
A fatal ebbe and flow, alas,
To many more than mine and me.
TIDES AND EARTHQUAKES.
Many of the most fatal tidal waves of which we have any history,
have been accompanied by earthquakes, adding to their horrors,
but making it impossible to say whether the earthquake or
the inundation has been the more fatal and destructive. The great
earthquake at Lisbon in I755 was accompanied by a tidal wave
which, rolling up the Tagus river from the ocean, submerged all
the lower parts of the city and destroyed thousands of lives which
might possibly have escaped the earthquake shocks.
When the earthquake came to Caraccas in I8I2 there was a
tidal wave at La Guyra, the entrepot of Caraccas, which destroyed
many lives. Five years ago a series of tidal waves, accompanied
by or alternating with earthquake shocks, visited some of the most
populous islands of Japan. The tidal waves reached from fifteen
to twenty miles inland, being of such a height, force and volume,
ten miles from the ocean, particularly when restricted to narrow
valleys, as to be capable of destroying much life.
The number of human lives lost at that time has never been
stated in any English newspaper, but that it ran far into the thousands
there is no room to doubt. Ten thousand is more apt to be
an under than an over estimate, such were the ravages of the combined
seismic and cataclysmic terrors visited upon that part of the
world during nearly a week of days and nights of horror, which,
fortunately, come but seldom in the experience of the race.
The affliction of Texas, while much less than this, is still
monumental, and will always rank among the great catastrophes
of history. Perhaps there have been events more destructive of
life in times or places where it was impossible that any record of
them should be left. But few such are known to history. Nor is
it likely that the future will often bring to any part of the world a
severer affliction than that which has fallen upon our Gulf coast.
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Lester, Paul. The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/106/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .