Earthquakes

by on May 5, 2009 :: 0 comments

There are 500,000 earthquakes
each year. 100,000 can be felt,
less than 100 cause damage.

The earliest recorded Earthquake
was in the Shandong Province
of China in the year 1831 B.C.

We don’t know much about that Earthquake,
other than that there were probably around
500,000 Earthquakes that year,
more or less;
amnesia is endemic
to the human condition.

In 350 BC
Aristotle observed that soft ground
shakes more than hard rock.

Damghan, Persia
is a 7,000 year old city
of 70,000 people.
In 856, 200,000 people died
in an Earthquake.

500 miles further in 893
150,000 people were killed
in an Earthquake
in Ardabil.

The Earth is not a dead stone.

Shortly after refusing the crusaders,
in 1138, the birth year of Saladin,
a quarter of a million people died
in an Earthquake
in the city of Alleppo.
In 1183, Saladin took the city.
And then the Mongols arrived
shortly thereafter.

Between the dynasty of Song
and Ming, under the good
of Kublai Khan,
in 1290,
100,000 people died
in an Earthquake in Chihli, China.

The Jiajing Great Earthquake,
1556,
Shensi, China,
where people lived in homes
they carved sideways
from the soft dirt deposited by windstorms
on the vertical side of the Earth.

The ground tore itself open
and water began to spray forth
as if it were bursting
through a dam.
The rug was pulled out;
the walls of every house collapsed.
Mountains were moved
and rivers changed places,
the Earth rose up and sunk,
and new hills and valleys were formed.
The skin of mountains
poured itself on doorsteps.
Everything collapsed.
830,000 people died.

This has happened many times.

The Earth is not
a silent stone.

80,000 died in Shemakha,
Caucasia, 1167.

60,000 in Sicily in 1693.

77,000 in Tabriz, Iran, 1727.

On All Saints Day
in 1755
the Great Lisbon Earthquake
threw stone churches
upon the population
as they praised God.
After the tsunami revealed
lost cargo and old shipwrecks of the sea,
fire ravaged everything else.
Every major church was destroyed.
One quarter of the population perished.
Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant
and the Sublime appeared.
Descartes
had been pulled apart.

50,000 in Calabria, Italy in 1783.

200,000 in the Gansu earthquake in 1902.
Landslides buried the living.

100,000 in Messina, Italy in 1908.
More than half the population.

142,000 in Kwanto, Japan in 1923.
Nearly a million houses burned down.

110,000 died in Turkmenistan in 1948.

70,000 in Chimbote, Peru in 1970.
The town of Yungay was buried.

1976, Tangshan China.
The official count was 255,000.
Some say it was more like 655,000.

50,000 in Western Iran in 1990.

40,000 in Bam in 2003.

227,898 in Sumatra in 2004.
2 million people lost their homes.
Tsunami hit 14 countries.

86,000 in 2005 in Kashmir.

And 87,587 died in an Earthquake in Eastern Sichuan, China
last year.
45 million people were evacuated.
5 million were left homeless.
Rivers dammed themselves forming 34 lakes.

The Earth is not a dead stone.
No monument survives.

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