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DISASTERS

Michael Pollard

Grolier Educational
SHERMAN TURNPIKE, DANBURY, CONNECTICUT 06816

without permission from Grolier Educational. CT 06816 . recording.I BR BR REF D24 . O < u Q > i All rights reserved.A22 1997 Contents Published 1997 Grolier Educational Danbury. 1995 10 of Egypt 1 1 UAigle meteorite shower 12 Tunguska 13 tU ISBN 0-7172-7691-0 Volume ISBN 0-7172-7684-8 fireball Set . Editor: Kyla Barber Designer: Mel Raymond Picture Research: Josine Meijer Art Director: John Strange Editorial Director: Pippa Rubinstein 17 en nuclear accident. X Disasters--Juvenile literature.7-dc21 96-38056 CIP AC < z C/5 H No part of this book may be reproduced or any form or by any means. electronic or mechanical. UJ Disasters. 6 Permian extinctions 8 The Yucatan 9 i Published for the school and library market exclusively by Grolier Educational © Introduction asteroid strike H UJ Barringer Crater Z < The plagues Dragon's World Ltd. New Madrid earthquake 23 The Armenian earthquake 24 Kobe earthquake The devastation of Knossos The destruction of Pompeii Mount Etna eruption 25 28 Laki eruption 29 The Tambora explosion 30 Krakatoa 31 Mount Pelee Mount St Helens Armero 32 The Great Flood 35 Huang He floods 36 North Sea floods 37 The 38 26 27 33 34 { Cfl hJ ^ Mississippi floods The Great Storm 39 Calcutta cyclone 40 Galveston hurricane 41 \ Printed in Italy I . 1. except by who may The San Francisco earthquake 18 Valparaiso earthquake 19 Messina earthquake 20 Kanto earthquake 21 Anchorage earthquake 22 o Tangshan 0-7172-7684-8 transmitted in quote brief passages in in writing a reviewer a review. The Antioch earthquake 14 Shensi Province earthquake 15 The Lisbon earthquake 16 i Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data The 100 Greatest Disasters. [1.] D24. and the Challenger space ISBN earthquake brief descriptions of the world's greatest disasters. Chernobyl < shuttle explosion.A22 1997 i k 904'. p. including the Yucatan asteroid strike. cm. or any information storage and retrieval system. including photocopy. Helens. Includes index. Summary: Presents Mount St.

and 1 Hurricanes Dam collapse Bangladesh cyclone (1970) 42 Hurricane 43 Yungay avalanche 78 The Darwin cyclone 44 The Koyna Reservoir tremors 79 Europe's October hurricane 45 Seveso gas leak 80 Bangladesh cyclone 46 The Amoco Cadiz The Sahel drought 47 The The Australian drought 48 The Nowruz 49 Bhopal chemical leak 84 50 The 85 51 Chernobyl nuclear accident 86 Piper Alpha 87 Hillsborough soccer disaster 88 The Exxon Valdez 89 Fifi i { Vaiont 77 Cyclones ght o A O 1 ^ 1 Wreck of the Spanish Armada Cyprus locust swarm The £-3 London smog great oil spill Ixtoc oil blowout blowout oilfield Basle chemical spillage 81 82 83 <*> oq 52 Lake Nios hJ i k The Great Fire of The Chicago Fire The Sao Paulo </5 fire Australian bush Ph Chinese forest J i c/5 < o i ^ London fire fire 53 54 g * 1 z oil spill 55 O The Aral Sea 90 56 > Z Soil erosion 91 p < Deforestation in the 57 Constantinople plague 58 The Black Death 59 Smallpox in the Americas z Amazon 92 Acid rain 93 African rainforest clearance 94 60 Q < 2 Z Salinization 95 Ergot poisoning 61 S The Ozone Layer 96 Cholera outbreak 62 The Tay Bridge 97 The 63 The sinking Phylloxera infestation 64 Bagmati railroad crash 99 Chinese drought and famine 65 The R101 airship 100 Influenza 66 The Hindenburg 101 AIDS 67 The sinking of Le Surcouf 102 Deforestation in Europe 68 Paris air crash 103 Rabbits in Australia 69 Tenerife airport crash 104 The Halifax explosion 70 Challenger space shuttle 105 San Joaquin Valley subsidence 71 The Philippines ferry collision 106 Baltic ferry sinking 107 Irish Famine i hJ k collapse of the Titanic 98 1 H The The American Dust Bowl 72 DDT 73 Word Thalidomide 74 Index 109 Kyshtym 75 Puzzle answers III Minimata Bay pollution 76 String Puzzle 108 .

for example. Some of the greatest killers in history diseases that have been swept uncontrollably across the world. our knowledge of the all world we one hundred New Madrid. About One earthquakes very move and some ways unexpected. time. most of the live Other place where things we as to happen. one could have foreseen the huge body from space that crashed near Tunguska in Siberia fortunately without loss of life — — in 1908. not understood. in 1811. a very solid. our Earth. It is way vulnerable to collisions with other bodies from space such as meteorites and comets. unexpected disasters show despite Such that. once in a completely But while an event takes place that reminds us that in strongest ever recorded.ntroduction The Earth on which we seems. took place in an area No open. in split the universe. half of the greatest disasters described in this book their origins in natural forces connected with the Earth's geology and climate. In the days when the regular pattern of causes and spread the world's of disease were weather. has flooded regularly throughout history. safe happen bringing huge live in. Some could have been predicted by studying earlier eruptions of volcanoes or the that had no previous history of tremors. Its crust Its weather of hurricanes and floods. these epidemics often lasted for years. one of make up can were disasters expect them loss of life each time. causing can suddenly deal deadly blows by had of the billions of bodies that earthquakes and volcanoes. bringing economic and social upheaval they killed off as . is fragile. Natural disasters can spring from other causes. Missouri. some grim it can still give us surprises. The Huang He or Yellow River in China.

1912. for threatened all our sakes. book whose resulted Excluding wars taken over history. 923.— productive workers and the very old left and the very young alone. 1989. more care of the world. has already laid waste large to poison our tracts of land. polluted the oceans. Most of this many years. such epidemics as bubonic plague and cholera are now eliminated or controlled. Michael Pollard atmosphere and water supplies. whose death toll. Japan. weak and starving. but occasionally an accident like the dramatic attention to the need to take damage occurs slowly over Bhopal chemical plant leakage in India in 1984 or the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Below: The sinking of the Titanic. Our thoughtless treatment of the environment. exceeds those of every natural calamity —human greed or foolishness has brought catastrophe in countless ways. to extinction rare plant and driven and animal life. that A third group of disasters stories are told in this from human activity. bring immediate and Opposite Top left: The Irish famine of the 1840s. Bottom left: Thinning of the ozone layer 1 Above: Hillsborough soccer tragedy. Over most of the world. England. Top right: Kanto earthquake. . but the appearance of AIDS was reminder a we must continue to research and develop new cures for new illnesses. for example.

but three-quarters of all plants and animals were destroyed. before the appearance of the dinosaurs.a .onditions on Earth. Conifers and ferns were the most common plants. the 200 and I first of which appeared between 35 million years ago. Towards the end of the Permian some kind overtook the world. there by was one huge land mass on Earth at that time disappeared. lOO million years . Another guess is that geologists call Pangea. One were no separate continents divided theory oceans: there upheaval that either raised the land or lowered the sea level. This vast was bursting with plant and animal At this time. up mass could have brought about dramatic climatic changes that of the species living many species could not survive.OFF PLANET Permian extinctions 250 million years ago Up to about 200 million years ago. No one can be sure what About one-third we know today. is was a huge geological that there area that at about this time life. a disaster of happened. This division of the great land period. split Geologists call this the Permian period. "hey were able to take advantage of the n . Pangea began to into the continents >^r The extinction of such a large proportion of living things in the Permian period probably paved the way for the evolution of the dinosaurs. and prospered for ovt. the dominant land creatures were reptiles.

Off Planet The Yucatan 9 asteroid strike 65 million years ago About 65 million years ago a great natural event destroyed Earth. by died. . followed that Life gradually died out all over the darkened Earth. Meateaters like Tyrannosourus Rex (foreground) would soon also die as their food supply disappeared. •^ Large plant-eating dinosaurs like Apatosaurus (center) would have been the to suffer first when the vegetation died. which landed on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The immense force with which the asteroid crashed to Earth created a vast crater and a dust out the light of the Plants would have the animals fed cloud that blotted Sun for many years. Professor Luis Alvarez of the University of California came up with a new theory about what might have happened. The layers of clay between rocks that were formed about 65 million years ago contain high levels of iridium. —including dinosaurs — on them. In 1980. an element found in asteroids. "T —TC ~jy~T ?? Many other ideas have been put forward to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs. It much of on life ended the age of the dinosaurs. One an of the giant dinosaurs looks on as enormous asteroid plunges through the atmosphere and lands on the Earth's surface. He suggested that the Earth was struck by a huge asteroid between 4 and 7 miles across. and wiped out most other species of plant and animal life on Earth. range from a sudden change in These the world's climate to the explosion of a star which caused the Earth to be bathed in deadly radiation. So the atmosphere may have contained asteroid dust at that time.

with deep center and the air slightly raised edges. that it hardly slowed down in the atmosphere and reached the Earth in one piece. It exploded on impact. where another amazing meteorite strike occurred on Local people July 19. The Barringer Crater was formed about when a huge meteorite fragment of rock from space thundered into the Earth's surface. .000 tons and measured 330 feet in diameter. or Meteor. 50. It is in the heart is a huge feet across and called the Barringer. The Barringer Crater is only. scattering fragments of rock over a large area. Most meteorites burn or break up as they meet the resistance of the Earth's atmosphere. is size of the crater.no sign of the vast meteorite that some 50. is visible its from above the Arizona desert. Arizona. The impact was such that the force threw up a bank around the crater 130 feet above the level of the surrounding desert. were astounded to stones raining from the sky. Crater. But there is is . the Barringer Crater enormous. Many of these fragments have been found and identified.000 made it years ago. find small A total of 14.— 1 Off Planet Barringer Crater 50. about 60 miles from Holbrook.000 stones was eventually counted. 1912.000 years ago — a The scientists' estimate of its size calculated from the A The typical shape of the Barringer Crater. and moving at such high speed. Scientists believe that this one was so vast. but excavations in the crater itself have revealed no large mass that could have been part of the meteorite. It may have weighed as much as 885. •^ Like part of the landscape of the Moon.000 bc c. Near the town of Winslow of the Arizona desert there bowl-shaped crater 4.200 575 feet deep.

while gnats and flies bred on the dead fish. 1 . The flies — A This early described illustration shows the and storms hail Exodus. to cope with. Nile. But there was worse to come. The Ancient Egyptians relied — on the pollution. in Other plagues might naturally have followed a long period of unusually violent weather. Finally. was built at In 1970. from an early German shows the plague of flies. and the first plague which killed the fish in the river would have been a serious blow. and the wind brought a swarm of locusts. The Old Testament book tells of Exodus of nine plagues that struck Ancient Egypt while the Israelites were slaves Exodus story. hail T This The annual flooding of the Nile delta provided Egypt with and cities rich soil for centuries. which devoured the remaining vegetation.1 Off Planet The plagues of E 1300 bc c. which killed all Bible the cattle. driven from the river by the rotting fish. and storms ruined the crops. probably because of a duststorm. it the head of the lower This provided hydroelectric illustration but as towns became difficult the Aswan High Dam on the delta grew. carried disease to cattle and skin infections to humans. for three days the sky turned dark. invaded homes. power and also ended the annual valley. Next. the plagues were God's warning to Pharaoh that Moses must be allowed to lead the there. the only source of the story. In the Israelites out of Egypt. for Egypt floods. Frogs.

reported that they were brilliant lights in the sky. it started they heard loud explosions saw and who had Others. places. Each stone formed a black crust as it burned its way through the atmosphere. Some said that before Since the L'Aigle incident. but it was a terrifying experience for the villagers. picked up the stones. But this was no ordinary storm. No one was killed or injured. which poured down along an 8-mile track. Until then. 1912. . The shower the village. The largest Holbrook in on record was near Arizona on July 19. occurred in daylight. Over 2. Its bright of dust particles which they travel through the Earth's atmosphere. He find out confirmed they were solid material from outer space.300 stones rained down on Each weighed between a quarter ounce and 20 lb. He analyzed some of the stones to what they were made of. Most of the stones were very small and looked like grape seeds. 1803. and there were many witnesses. were startled by a storm that swept across the village.12 Off Planet L'Aigle meteorite shower 1803 On April 26. still hot. A French physicist. about 100 miles west of Paris. Jean Baptiste Biot (1774-1862). It was a shower of meteorites. scientists had doubted stories about stones from space. the people of L'Aigle in northeastern France. carried out an investigation. showers of T A meteor track crosses the line is glow caused by glowing as trails meteorites have been reported from other night sky.

The Tunguska region. No one saw it happen. entering the Earth's atmosphere. which.Off Planet Tunguska fireball 1908 No one knows exactly what happened in Tunguska region of Siberia at dawn on June 30. It was the most the sky over the destructive natural event of its kind in modern times. is almost uninhabited and there were no human casualties. The force of the Some of were later recovered from the soil. There was huge damage to the forests in the area. and the explosion left no crater. instant death 13 . blew apart high above the Earth's surface. although many reindeer were killed. but it caused a major explosion with the force of a nuclear bomb. fireball brought comet. The most Tunguska likely explanation fireball is was caused by A In the bleak landscape of central Siberia the that the explosion of the Tunguska a small destruction only to reindeer and trees. The effects of the destruction caused by the fireball explosion shattered the comet's solid matter into tiny fragments. in central Siberia near the Arctic Circle. A similar event over a densely populated area would have brought to thousands of people. was sheer good luck that the explosion took place where it did. several miles in can It still be seen today. 1908. Thousands of trees were stripped of their foliage and flattened for these all directions.

a huge shock brought with visitors Antioch's buildings and palaces. was once the greatest trading center of the Byzantine Empire.000 people Between 250. "Fire fell from heaven instead of rain. fire broke out. and loot their homes. . to complete Antioch's night of horror. and 300. Aftershocks continued in Antioch for another eighteen months." one observer wrote. the city's pride. bandits moved into the city to rob and murder them. Most people were having their evening meal when. Almost all the city's buildings were The golden-domed Great Church. On May 29. it was bustling who had come to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension.EARTHQUAKES 14 The Antioch earthquake AD 526 Antioch. the survivors staggered about ruins. The first tremor was followed by aftershocks that did further damage and.. a rich and splendid city. just after 6 p. 526.000 As among the lost their lives. — its as well as its fine churches humble homes —crashing to the ground. TURKEY f Antioch collapse five days later. in what is now Turkey.m. survived the initial shock only to catch fire and destroyed.

. *^> The earthquake was felt throughout the country. "*« 5 4? X l »*™a**S >. A huge earthquake.000. started by debris falling onto hearths. W ^* K 1 seventeenth-century map.Earthquakes 15 Shensi Province earthquake 1556 MONGOLIA The human greatest natural disaster in history. Beijing with over one million inhabitants. -^ <& 1 I . and I it 1 took years before Shensi returned to normal life. in terms of the number of lives occurred in Shensi Province in lost. Many people Shanghai TAIWAN Hong Kong CHINA SEA MYANMAR (BURMA) THAILAND BAY OF BENGAL \\ were buried by landslides or carried away by Some floods. city. Shensi Province is bounded to the south by the Yellow River and to the north by the Great Wall. The number There have been nine earthquakes of deaths was estimated as 830. .«v~< 1 z4 v. was the largest city in the world. northwestern China in 1556. Many Shensi people who lived in caves hollowed out of soft cliffs died when the cliffs caved in. At that time Shensi's main S. KOREA N. two in Japan and one in in India. KOFI EA SHENSI PROVINCE Xian. raged through the ruins. recorded history that have each killed in more than 100.000 people. Disaster struck without warning at night. Six of these occurred -$~o \ 1 China. small villages simply disappeared. Fires. 1 •^ i China is shown on this i | A . Thousands of people were killed outright as their flimsy timber homes collapsed around them. swallowed up tremor or its by the huge consequences. shook the region. was the capital of China and. which was felt over half the land area of China.

adding to the damage and loss of life. Worse was to come. The shock waves under the sea set up a tsunami. There had been no warning of disaster when the people of Lisbon felt three huge shocks. one after the other. The city's buildings were shattered and fires started. 1755. that wrecked ships in the harbor and flooded the city. T Probably most of the 60.000 victims of the Lisbon earthquake tidal wave drowned that followed it. But this was nothing compared with the destruction the earthquake caused near The Portuguese city of its center.750 miles away rose and fell in time with the shock waves the quake created. in the enormous . It was so powerful that the waters of inland lakes up to 1. Lisbon was a prosperous port and trading center.16 Earthquakes The Lisbon earthquake 1755 On November 1. The earthquake's centre was beneath the Atlantic Ocean to the west. or tidal wave. a huge shock was felt across the whole of Europe.

N. The vibrations caused church bells to ring in Washington DC. and no one living there had ever experienced anything like it before. not in an area known from earthquakes. 16. By that time.Earthquakes 17 -j New Madrid earthquake The 1811 In December 1811. fled from the earthquakes of humankind. the people of the town of New Madrid. It 1 5. The earthquakes continued at frequent intervals until February 1812. small were looking forward to Christmas and the New Year. New Madrid's wooden houses had been reduced to splinters. 625 miles away. the first of a series of earthquakes struck the New Madrid was The population. But there was no time for the people of New Madrid to recover from the first shock before more followed. Many families settled elsewhere and never returned. The New Madrid earthquake was probably the most severe ever recorded in North America. that they Little did they know were on the brink of a season of terror. . The shock was so great that it was felt right across North to be at risk America. in 1 worth of 00 million the history T This nineteenth-century map of the Mississippi River that shows was most badly New lower Madrid and the area affected by the earthquake that changed the course of one of America's great rivers. ^ —iC y~r i Earthquakes an average of kill each year and do millions of damage. Missouri. fearing that the shocks would go on for ever. One of these later shocks changed the course of the nearby Mississippi River in several places.000 people dollars' has been estimated that people have died in town. On December little town.

Buildings in an area of over 4 sq.18 Earthquakes The San Francisco earthquake 1906 The Pacific coast of California runs parallel to a series of cracks in the Earth's crust which are called "faults. will . Rescue workers had to demolish buildings around the fire to create gaps too wide for the flames to cross. 1906. T earthquake-proof more California live in constant fear of another major earthquake. causing large fires Francisco at in the city center. But in that minute. Although minor aftershocks occurred during the weeks that followed the San Francisco earthquake. but the lessons of 1906 helped architects to design better The people of one can be expected every hundred years. 700 people who The majority of the died were victims of the fires rather than of the earthquake itself. Schools regular earthquake fifty to a and hospitals hold drills. Research shows that Earthquakes cannot be prevented. need when the Earth trembles again. and emergency services constantly practice the skills they buildings." These have caused many earthquakes over the years. the main shock lasted for less than one minute. miles were destroyed. gas mains and electricity cables were broken. but none as severe as the tremor that struck the city of San dawn on April 18.

500 deaths. since the city 1 1 1 1 . in one of the areas of the most prone to earthquakes. and most of the population was made homeless. There were 1. Two-thirds of the city was destroyed raised the coastline in an upheaval that by over 3 feet and changed the shape of the slopes on which most of Valparaiso's homes were built. 1839 and its history 1873— but most devastating earthquake — in the to strike Valparaiso occurred on August 16.Earthquakes 1 Valparaiso earthquake jflT 1906 Valparaiso is on the VENEZUELA Pacific coast of world was built Chile. The city had been shaken by severe tremors many times in 1731. 19 . The Dutch plundered it in it was 600. the earthquake struck. and the government was forced to impose martial law to regain control. and the Spanish in 866. In 89 war civil Chilean the during waste laid to suffered T The business district along the waterfront of the Bay of Valparaiso was almost completely wrecked. 1822. That night there was an unusually violent thunderstorm. Soon afterwards. The English captured it twice. Valparaiso has more than its fair share of destruction was founded in 536. Afterwards there was an outbreak of looting. 1906. It on slopes that fall steeply to the sea. Valparaiso • 1 ARGENTINA Santiago Apart from earthquakes.

lS N& Early in the morning. 1908. which originated under the sea. At Messina.20 Earthquakes Messina earthquake 1908 Messina Sicily. the Earth 2Jft3 V / WJd /•_> was once 1 . and in the port of Reggio on the mainland. 1 783. gradually becoming slighter October 1 786.»r — — in the ruined villages of the Sicilian countryside and on the mainland. A further 75. six earthquakes that lasted from February 5 to March 28. T Emergency to save some surgical stations were set The area around the up to try Straits of Messina was the scene of an earlier terrifying series of of the victims of the earthquake. It was famous for island facing the Italian the Straits its beauty until the disastrous events of December J&i 28. These were followed by nearly other shocks. is the second largest city in on the northeastern tip of the mainland across of Messina. The two cities were destroyed. the land subsided by over two feet. The shock.000 died Bj. Messina was shaken by the worst earthquake ever recorded in Europe.000 people half the population died. in again at rest.200 until. and in Messina about 75. spread destruction throughout the countryside surrounding the city and across the Straits of Messina on the southern tip of the mainland. .

1923. Almost 700. still 21 .000 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged. and then drowned as the spreading fires forced them into the water. about 50 miles to the north. Within minutes cities of many buildings in the Tokyo and Yokohama. families were cooking their meals on traditional charcoal braziers. Then came the second blow — tsunami (or tidal wave) sweeping in from the sea.a Earthquakes — Kanto earthquake 1923 At about midday on September 1. The death toll T On September from the being streets felt. 3. . It was reached 130. there was an earthquake beneath Sagami Bay. people were clearing debris even though aftershocks were Japan's worst ever earthquake. In Tokyo. These were overturned by the tremors.000. Families fled in found themselves trapped between a wall of flames and the Sumida River. lay in ruins. on Japan's main island of Honshu. starting fires that spread through the city's wooden houses. Hundreds of people were panic.

liable to Mount Katmai. far fewer than have been expected after destructive shock and flood. But spite of the in low number of the damage to economy of Anchorage casualties. 27. sudden volcanic outbursts." where the Earth's crust I is most unstable. WHt and In is 1912. at about 5:30 p. few people were out on the streets when the earthquake struck. Alaska forms part of the "Pacific rim. the death toll was only might such a 131. 1964. The area is now a national park.Earthquakes 22 Anchorage earthquake 1964 Good fine. that carried boats far inland. and blew off its top. The tremor continued for four minutes. was a Anchorage. Friday. Alaska's The people of the city were in enjoying their holiday picnicking in the country or sailing off the coast. amazingly. The city's main street was split in two by a crack nearly 20 inches wide. Many were still out of town when. One side dropped by about 20 feet. previously quiet. The shock was followed by a tsunami. suddenly exploded. . Yet.. cliffs slid into the sea. March sunny day largest city. Anchorage was rocked by a huge earthquake centered some 80 miles to the east of the city in Prince William Sound.m. MEM •^ Because of the holiday. the and Alaska was devastating. Along the southern coast of Alaska. or tidal wave.

If this is true. which China. It was China's worst earthquake for twelve years. . but Western experts believe that the figure was much higher —perhaps as high as 650. fearing further shocks. The official number of dead was put at set 142. Earthquakes are caused by movements of the make up the plates that western edges of the explains T The damage to this coastal railway shows the sort of destruction that occurred at Tangshan. is an industrial city in northern China. Tangshan was China's second most destructive earthquake. Among many miraculous escapes was that of a woman who got out of her two seconds before two and crumbled to the ground. Beijing. Earth's crust.000. The true death toll from the quake will probably never be known. with a population of over six million. 100 miles away. 1976. the city and were rocked violent earthquake that shook the surrounding province by a buildings in China's capital.000. Japan and the western North and South America are so vulnerable to earthquakes. On July 28.Earthquakes 23 Tangshan earthquake 1976 Tangshan. Makeshift camps were up outside to give them shelter. Many of these movements take place at the eastern and why coasts of Pacific Ocean. Most of Tangshan's population hotel in the city only it split in took to the roads out of the city. in terms of loss of life.

immediately canceled his trip He and returned to take personal charge of the rescue effort. newly elected president of the then Soviet Union. but other estimates put the number of dead closer to 100. was on a visit to the United States. The earthquake caused severe damage across about 3. Until machinery arrived from outside. In Armenia's largest city. miles of countryside The official death toll was 55. 1988.000. of which Armenia was part. Mikhail Gorbachev.000. There was no decent rescue equipment. four out of every five buildings were destroyed. and in nearby Kirovakan almost every building collapsed. The town of Spivak was completely flattened and most of the 20.975 sq.24 Earthquakes The Armenian earthquake 1988 Few earthquakes have caused as much destruction as the huge tremor that shook Armenia in southern Russia at 11:41 in the morning of December 7. 30 miles from the center of the earthquake. Armenia was completely unprepared for the disaster. When the Armenian earthquake struck. Half a million families were made homeless.000 people who lived there killed. rescue workers worked with their bare hands. . Leninakan. Buildings collapsed like houses of cards.

The emergency services were overwhelmed. of water mains there were frequent aftershocks. .000 made earthquake and the homeless in the fires that followed. A severe earthquake shook the city. 27.— Earthquakes 25 Kobe earthquake 1995 The Kobe earthquake was a disaster that everyone thought could not happen. but experiences there have forced the a new look at the destructive world take power of earthquakes. In the days following the tremor. Japan's second largest port. had been rebuilt after bombing during World War II. workers were demolishing a ruined building alive •^ Great rising when and unscathed the cat emerged. people had to shelter in tents as the temperature dropped below freezing. twenty-three days after the earthquake. Rescue efforts were hampered by the lack of electricity and the pall of smoke that hung over the A Damage to roads like this the emergency services made ruins. rail links were broken Kobe's road and and twisted. the people of Kobe 17. bridges and roads were said to be earthquake proof. and its buildings.000 were injured and 370.000 people died. columns of smoke could be seen from the buildings of Kobe as the aftershocks of the earthquake continued. ~\ One of Kobe's cats was luckier than thousands of the On Ty~~t rc February 9. Kobe would take years to rebuild. Thousands of terror into survivors. Kobe. striking equipment to be used new it in expressway hampered Kobe. reducing thousands of buildings to rubble and how seriously damaging thousands more. At 5:46 on the morning of January 1995. — but hungry. Over 5. discovered untrue those claims were. The destruction impossible for fire-fighting in many areas. city's human inhabitants.

civilization. They in of Santorini. One theory is that the earthquake damage. giving the abandon Knossos and They may then have been overwhelmed by the tidal wave. Lb zz Santorini has continued throughout history to be the scene of violent eruptions. . but the disasters marked the beginning of the end for the Minoan take to their boats. a new island had been formed. In about 1450 BC.*. The exact sequence of events will never be known. a huge volcanic explosion on Santorini was followed by a The tidal settlements were '. when Knossos was A The island excavated in the early years of the here sketches and a photograph. a great cloud rivers of M(„ of volcanic ash rose into the air and./*. island's volcanic eruptions is The is shown ash from thought to have also discovered severe earthquake may possibly have been caused by the same disturbance. At the end of this time. Between 2000 and 1450 BC. wave. Santorini is a volcanic island about 68 miles north of the island of Crete. The most spectacular of these explosion in 1 96 BC. However. buried the palace of Knossos. north of Crete. ZJ*.. It is not known whether these disturbances occurred a few years apart or all at the same time. twentieth century. on the the palace of Knossos Mediterranean island of Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization.. according to some archaeologists. on Santorini by totally destroyed molten rock. Meanwhile. there were devastating geological disturbances in Santorini and in Crete. was an underwater when for four days flames leaped from the sea./^ fiUfy ffiM^jti* i/**s<a. the archaeologists the had to dig through volcanic material. Certainly. completely buried the great palace of Knossos.VOLCANOES AND TSUNAMIS 26 The devastation of Knossos 1450 BC c. which may have happened Minoans time to first.

Herculaneum. without warning. sometimes severely enough to put at risk the people live in T This the who villages continue to below. about life in Roman times is Vesuvius. but there was no escape from the suffocating blanket of lava and ash. A hail of ash and pebbles spouted from it and covered Pompeii in a layer of ash nearly 13 feet deep. about 250 years ago. At about noon on August 24.Volcanoes and Tsunamis 27 The destruction o f Pompeii AD 79 volcano in southern Italy overlooking the Bay of Naples. Pompeii and Herculaneum lay buried until. to the north.000 skeletons have been discovered in Pompeii alone. Some managed to shelter in cellars. painting by eighteenth-century French artist Jacques Antoine Volaire gives a powerful impression of what an eruption of Vesuvius can be sea of red-hot lava and palls like. A Layers of volcanic ash preserved the remains of Pompeii in Much of what near-perfect condition. archaeologists began to uncover their ruins. on the we know coast. but 2. No one knows how many people died. often seen with a above it. Herculaneum and The Romans had no reason to close to Vesuvius or farming towns Stabiae. poisonous fumes that filled the air. is still based on plume of smoke an active volcano today. the remains found at Pompeii. with a . had never erupted before. It erupts frequently. was engulfed by a river of mud and volcanic debris. Near its Vesuvius is a foot. They were buried alive as they worked. the ancient Romans built the of Pompeii. Many who were not trapped inside the buildings were killed by the choking. fear living its slopes. Vesuvius exploded. of thick smoke. It For many people. suffered a similar fate. there was no time to escape. AD 79. Stabiae.

This is how the fire. and boulders weighing up to 300 lbs several miles into the hot cinders fell were hurled air. A.28 Volcanoes and Tsunamis Mount Etna eruption 1669 Mount Etna stands 10. On the following Monday there were three violent explosions. the lava destroyed city of Calabria. destroying several villages. A river of lava (molten rock) emerged from the crack down toward the nearby city and flowed of Calabria. This flow of lava from Etna was photographed during the eruption in 1979. much of the 7 miles from 1 the summit. word "volcano" entered the language. Officially. was found that a crack nearly 5 feet wide and 10 miles long had opened in It the side of Mount Etna. The worst eruption began on the night of Friday March 8. The Ancient Romans believed that the rumblings and eruptions of Mount Etna were expressions of anger by their god of Vulcan.958 feet high the eastern coast of Sicily. JL .000 people were killed. 1669. In 1669. while a plume of smoke and steam from the volcano stretches in the opposite direction. total as but other estimates put the high as 100. It is on an active volcano that has erupted frequently.000. A rain of red- on the surrounding country. An earthquake tremor was followed by roarings from inside the mountain. •^ A satellite photograph of Mount Etna shows one flank of the summit covered with snow. 20.

a volcano in the south of the island that had previously been dormant. One-fifth of the island's population. Laki is in a remote spot in the mountains well away from any settlements. There are on the island. But within hours of the eruption Icelanders realized that a major disaster was looming. A rain of volcanic ash began to descend all over the island. Crops were ruined. The following winter was grim for the Icelanders. and there were no immediate casualties. died of hunger.Volcanoes and Tsunamis 29 Laki eruption 1783 Iceland is a land of volcanoes.500 sheep starved to death. and at the same time a NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN river of lava flowed out of the volcano along a path 20 miles wide. about 9. miles. . One of the most disastrous well over a hundred eruptions occurred in 1783. and 11.000 horses and 190. of which twenty-five have erupted in fairly recent times. 28. Pasture was destroyed. covering 218 sq.500 clouds of ash into the people. It sent air. and famine set in. covering the ground and smothering vegetation.500 cattle. They ate through their stores of food. suddenly came to life. Laki.

000 islanders were killed The eruption was followed tsunami (tidal wave). About 10. he was starting the series of 1 1 I 1 1 paintings that brought him fame. a brown r^r 6t= The landscape paintings of J.000. Turner 77585 ) are renowned for their vivid use ( of color In 8 5. blue and dust. that the remarkable skies in his It is thought paintings portrayed the effects of the Tambora eruption on the atmosphere. some of the ash from Tambora formed a layer in the Earth's atmosphere. The period of very wet weather. Meanwhile. result was snow tinged with red.M. by a with the disease and famine that followed. the effects lasted so long that as "the year without summer" it .30 Volcanoes and Tsunamis The Tambora explosion 1815 No one in the world escaped the of the violent eruption of the effects Tambora volcano on an island east of Java in what is now Indonesia. This view of Tambora was taken from the Space Shuttle." reducing its feet to 9. and brightly colored sunsets. killed a further 82. the top. it could be seen that Tambora had "blown air.451 The explosion was heard 1. which 4 miles across.67 million tons of ash and rocks into the When smoke had cleared.550 miles away. This blocked the heat and light of the Sun all over the Earth.W. The eruption blew an estimated 1. is some A Material weather In was known thrown up by a volcano can affect the 1816.350 feet. It shows the caldera (the crater at the top of the volcano). The explosion in April 1815 altered climatic conditions all over the world for over a year. which along immediately. its height from 13.

36.Volcanoes and Tsunamis Krakatoa 1883 Krakatoa in Indonesia is a volcanic island of 5 sq. Then. Further waves poured the shores of the Sunda Strait More than people were drowned. but this was not unusual and few people took any notice. darkening the skies over the whole of Indonesia and coloring sunsets all over the world. The ashes over the shattered sea walls. it began to rumble and throw out showers of ashes and stones. and the caused no loss of life. Two days later. The volcano's explosions and collapse set a tsunami (tidal wave) 115 feet up high that engulfed nearby inhabited islands and on Java and Sumatra. the noise grew louder and the showers of hot material more threatening. In the spring of 1883. miles. itself had terrible consequences. Krakatoa blew itself apart in a massive explosion that destroyed more than two-thirds of the island. The island eruption But it was uninhabited.000 from the explosion Krakatoa shot high into the atmosphere. on August 26. at 31 .

town of St Pierre lay Signs of trouble The about 5 miles away. 4. A week later.000. number T Lava set the destroyed all town of St Pierre but one of the ships on in fire and the harbor The major port was wiped out by the eruption. that immediately after the eruption of Mount was planned to evacuate the completely. >^ Damage to the economy of Martinique was so great. and today Martinique has a population of 327. rebuilt.32 Volcanoes and Tsunamis Mount Pelee 1902 The eruption of Mount Pelee island of Martinique in the on the Caribbean caused the greatest ever death toll from a volcano. Mount Pelee fell on the surrounding area. Mount Pelee erupted violently. and the loss of life so shocking. the economy was Pelee it A Showers of ash and lava. stands in the north of the island. came in April 1902. Mount Pelee. . about 150 people were killed when when showers of ash from from the volcano flowed through sugar plantations near lava (molten rock) St Pierre. nearly twice the before the eruption. island fumes from the volcano.000 people. sending a river of lava down through St Pierre and killing some 40. Then on May 8. Even more fires in St Pierre. Instead.430 feet high. died in the resulting together with poisonous killed many.

eruption had been expected. and small clouds of steam its An and ash were seen above it from time to time. rose from a beautiful forest landscape. was a familiar tourist landmark. The floods tore down bridges and swept away buildings. reduced from 9. in peak. a special 33 . The The Mount area of Helens area has government of the mountain was now become Monument. But miraculously. 1980. Clouds of burning ash and poisonous gas swept across the landscape.399 feet. it changed appearance forever.678 feet before the eruption to its present height of 8. leaving a huge. with distinctive snow-covered St Helens. 232 it indicates sq. The United access road for destruction stretched 20 miles. On May 18. When the main explosion came. only sixty-three people died. Its conical shape. miles of forest shows the volcanic ash how far the ash spread: were destroyed. This infrared photograph in pink and red. The height St National Volcanic also uses the site to States educate people about the danger of volcanic eruptions. But no one expected that the eruption would be so catastrophic. with a tourists. it tore mountain.Volcanoes and Tsunamis Mount St Helens 1980 Mount Washington. carrying rocks. mud and water off the top of the into the valleys below. For months there had been rumblings from the volcano. The ice at the peak of the volcano melted. gaping hole. destroying everything in their path.

34 Volcanoes and Tsunamis Armero 1985 Even areas. The first sign of the come was the ash that started on the streets of Armero.246 air. by A few people had time to clamber onto their But for 20. It was all over in little more than to escape. erupted. The mud flooded into the town. . burying them and their houses. As feet into the disaster to to rain darkness fell. which is fed by streams that run down from the volcano. in Colombia.000 out of Armero 's 23. but about 30 miles away was the town of Armero. 15 minutes. T Mud from buildings in the volcano Armero laid waste even the after the eruption in largest 1985. is what happened when the Nevado Ruiz volcano. high in the Andes Mountains. Rescuers flying over the town the next morning reported that it was as if Armero had never existed. Nevado del Ruiz erupted late one This del afternoon in 1985. down from a torrent of mud cascaded the volcano. if volcanoes erupt in uninhabited they often produce aftereffects that threaten lives some distance away.000 population. there was no time roofs. shooting ash 26. No one lives near Nevado del Ruiz. swept along overflowing streams and rivers. It lay in the valley of the La Lagunilla River.

in r* comes of the stories of the Great Flood from a I tablet reassembled it in the library of King who of Assyria. which have survived to the present day as part of our culture and M The literature. but that there was —or perhaps this it of the details seems likely a great natural catastrophe The memories of event were preserved by ancient several. jl\ o^_ _-^JX_- reigned from 669 was discovered on the peaks of mountains. We will never know any of the Great Flood. and in the traditional stories of the people of Hawaii and China.000-year-old Epic of Gilgamesh. or possibly even earlier. These stories are all so similar that experts believe that they are all accounts of the same flood that the world at Some some time before 5000 of the legends ships being overwhelmed tell marooned One BC. peoples in their legends. in the legends of the native peoples of North and South America.FLOODS 35 The Great Flood I c. The Old Testament of the Bible has the story of Noah's flood. (like clay tablet that Ashurbanipal Noah's ark) to 626 bc. from a -® . during which Noah saved two flood.000 years ago. written on clay tablets by the ancient Assyrians. and found story very similar to the it pieces He contained part of a biblical story of Noah. 6000 BC The legends of many of the world's cultures include the story of a great which is thought to have happened about 8. animals leave Noah's ark after the flood waters start to go down fifteenth-century English in this picture book of hours. Similar stories of a flood disaster appear in the 5. The 872 by a 1 was in British archaeologist. of fierce storms. of each species in the Ark. cities being swept into the sea and people fleeing for survival to caves high in the mountains.

In 1887. 1931 floods MONGOLIA and 1938 The Huang He. flows for about 3. . up the to two million Chinese died when Huang He flooded.000 miles in a great S-bend through northern China. For the quarter of its course it last flows across a low-lying. some 500.36 Floods Huang He 1887. raising the level of the water and thereby increasing the risk of flooding. or Yellow River. and in 1938.000 were drowned. which have often destroyed so many lives and communities along its lower banks. For over 4. But the Huang He has continued MYANMAR (BURMA) LAOS ^THAILAND BAY OF BENGAL to flood at frequent intervals. three million were killed. fertile plain where millions of Chinese people Huang He is CHINA live. The Yellow River takes earth carried in its name from the reaches of the river As the current slows on the lower yellow the water from the upper plain. sometimes called "China's sorrow" because of the floods. In the floods of 1931.000 years the Chinese have been trying to protect these communities by building dikes and cutting channels to take flood water away. this down earth sinks to the river bed.

& JS . A On the low-lying Canvey Island. The disaster was sudden. and there was no time for people to escape. as well as irrigation from underground water can cause subsidence. swept across the North Sea between Britain and western Europe. northern Belgium and the — many of which —had dikes or southern Netherlands were below sea level banks to protect them. which could have cost thousands more lives. Many animals were drowned. a fierce storm. England.800 people drowned. The much as in I eastern England have 3 feet over the past cutting of drainage channels has caused the peat soil to dry out and sink. but the sea burst through the banks or flowed over them. In Belgium and the Netherlands over 1. It was also the day of a high spring tide. >-^r fr Surface drainage. 1953. houses were almost completely submerged and people had to be evacuated. The two "surge" factors — combined a wall of ££& + &r^fjf^ /&*£/ to create a water that battered North Sea coast. and the saltwater made land unusable for growing crops for years afterward. Thousands of families were made homeless.Floods 37 North Sea floods 1953 On January 31. The low-lying coastal the -IP* :t *l t areas of eastern England. Only the turning of the tide stopped water flooding from the River Thames into central London. with northwesterly winds reaching 127 mph. Some parts of the Fens fallen by as century. Over 300 lives were lost in England.

38 Floods The Mississippi floods 1993 The Mississippi River forms a great meanders its way in huge loops toward the Gulf of Mexico. depositing layers of from further upstream. on July The flooding started was not until August 10 began to recede and the people of the lower Mississippi could 4.000 least fifty sq. or dikes. The red shows the area covered by the flood waters. but two hours later mules were drowning before they could be unhitched from their carts. Yet the waters of the Mississippi from time still flood to time. . the river 2. A This false-color satellite photograph of the was taken during July 1993. Water covered 17. miles of land.000 miles of these flood defenses. but The combination of floods and storms can bring sudden disaster to the Mississippi plain. flood plain as It it flows slowly. the first were built to contain waters. either more than two-thirds of the levees. Americans the river "the Big Muddy. At people were killed and 70. Flooding has always been a problem the outlet into the sea for water vast area on this low-lying land." Its mud call delta is from a between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. swollen by heavy Mississippi River burst open or overflowed rainfall. residents of Arkansas City reported that the streets had been dry at midday. it that the waters begin to rebuild their lives. and there are now over levees. The river. In July 1993. During a flood in 1927.000 made homeless. In 1717. the Mississippi region experienced its worst flooding for 150 years.

drowning the keepers and the lighthouse's builder. So many buildings were wrecked in London and Bristol that the two cities looked like battlefields. In Sussex. 17.000 other people died." as one eyewitness wrote. known the He author. moving its mouth 1 mile along T This nineteenth-century painting conjures up the the coast to the west. people in were awakened by unusually They expected that the storm would soon "blow itself out" but it went on "with a strange and unusual strong winds. was swept away. cities It all that day tore through and countryside. journalist later became for his story Robinson Crusoe. uprooting trees.000 trees were brought down. causing havoc on both land and Off the Devon Eddystone lighthouse. — violence. sea. . In the county of Kent alone. coast. towering 121 feet above the water. windswept atmosphere on the Storm was written by the traveler Daniel Defoe.The Great Storm 1703 On November 26. The Great Storm raged across southern Britain. mostly crushed in the A detailed eyewitness account of the Great wreckage of their homes. based real-life and better on adventures of a shipwrecked sailor night of the storm. the Over 8. toppling church steeples. flattening houses. Henry Winstanley. flood waters had broken through the banks of the River Ouse. Britain 1703.

whipped up by the fierce winds into a great wave. storm with a It describes a violent low-pressure area at its center. drove inland along the river. and there was an even worse cyclone twelve years later. it along the lower reaches of the river. It will never be known exactly how many people were killed. the winds reached over 125 mph. In other parts of the world this kind of storm called a hurricane or a is typhoon. The sea. But in the Indian subcontinent "cyclone" has a special meaning. with a central dark hole ("the eye of the storm") were Russian spacecraft visible in 1 from a 978. in A modern photograph of flooding on the plains of India shows what the aftereffects of the cyclone must have looked like in countryside outside the the city. When the cyclone swept in from the Bay of Bengal. Others Calcutta and Bangladesh to the east have been devastated by cyclones many times. Built River. ^vA- Swirling cyclone clouds.000 deaths. by the Many stretched which Bay of tides in the of the houses were built below the high-tide water level. You can read about the 1 cyclones that have devasted Bangladesh on pages 42 and 46. but the death toll has been estimated as 300. In 1737. In I 864. the floodwater outside. are affected Bengal. . flooding thousands of homes. 48. Calcutta Sprawling and badly planned.000. of Calcutta. resulting 00. a cyclone struck the Indian city on the banks of the Hugli was then India's largest city.000 people died. managed to escape from their Many people who houses were drowned in were simply overwhelmed in the places where they worked.CYCLONES AND HURRICANES 40 Calcutta cyclone 1737 word "cyclone Meteorologists use the describe any weather system in which winds revolve around a low-pressure area.

of the storm-driven waves was such that even large buildings. Survivors of A The strength the storm began to die of hunger and thirst. 1900. Unwisely. could not stand their force. with winds up to 135 mph driving waves 23 feet high in front of them. M The beach area Galveston was many wooden houses devastated. The storm moved across the Gulf of Mexico. raised ~T Galveston was about church.r Cycloi^jS^d Hurricanes Galveston hurricane 1900 The worst hurricane in American history struck the Texas city of Galveston on September 8. Twenty-five of the looters were shot dead. citizens of many of the Galveston went to the shore to watch. the land was 5 feet above the previous The city was protected by a new sea was higher than the storm's highwater mark and over 6 feet above the level. — y~r- When like this 1 — TV "TC rebuilt. The city was devastated. The city is on an island. wall that previous high-water record. and the U. and of the at totally were overturned. connected to the mainland by a causeway 2 miles long. 41 .S. The storm raged for eighteen hours before moving further north and dying away.000 lives were lost. down Thousands were overwhelmed before they had time to escape. Army was called in to provide food and tents. A total of 6. There was widespread looting and the Army had to take drastic measures to maintain law and order.

1970. A Survivors from a wade village in southern Bangladesh to safety through the water The 1 970 cyclone marked the beginning of a 97 in Bangladesh's history. Crops were ruined. washing away twenty-five island communities. Bangladesh suffered a series of military coups. Rescue efforts were hampered by political turmoil in Bangladesh. In terrible period civil 1 1 war broke out. River channels had been blocked by mud. the Meghna and the Brahmaputra. A farm in southern Bangladesh. There have always been storms and floods here. When stability. When the waters receded. the Ganges. The storm was followed by a tidal wave that swept up the the river estuaries from the sea. bringing chaos to a country that desperately needed destroyed. the delta had been transformed. None was worse than the cyclone that struck the area at midnight on November 13. by Estimates of the total loss of from 300. The delay meant that thousands of corpses polluted water supplies. and new ones created. is completely surrounded by flood water its buildings this ended. . and people began to die from starvation. causing widespread disease.000 to over life varied one million. 42 Cyclones and Hurricanes Bangladesh cyclone 1970 Bangladesh is occupied almost entirely the low-lying deltas of three rivers..

000 plantations basis were coated with a layer of mud 20 feet deep. the cyclone that weather forecasters named "Hurricane Fifi" suddenly swung toward Honduras. In one town. a dam gave way under the weight of water and debris. 1974. Over 7.Cyclones and Hurricanes Hurricane Fifi 1974 On September 18.000 were homeless. and about half of the town's population of 6.000 Hondurans of the damage and loss of life time it was were dead and another 600. Torrential rain and winds of over 110 mph raged across the landscape. disappeared completely underwater. Roads. Most was caused by flooding. in trees and on dikes. miles of land The hurricane season name to help in tracking cyclone of the season its is progress. the second one beginning B. through the alphabet. Thousands of survivors were trapped on the roof of their houses. By the all over. railroads and harbor installations had been swept away. National Hurricane Center gives each storm a code with PACIFIC the Caribbean runs in from June to November The INDIES 43 . and so on. Cruz Laguna. Three-quarters of the banana of the Honduran —the economy —were destroyed. given a The first name first beginning with A. along with its 1. Another town. WEST MEXICO Mexico City GUATEMALA HOfoBlJfcASr' NICARAGUA OCEAN PANAMA COSTARICA U. Choloma. 11.S.500 inhabitants. sq.000 were drowned.

The cyclone struck Darwin By 1 shortly after midnight. picking up speed. prepared for Christmas 1974. a. By dawn on Christmas Day. and almost everyone was homeless. the entire city was a mess of rubble. In view of the damage. At the airport. About 90 percent of Darwin's buildings destroyed by the cyclone.000 left the next few airlifted out. capital of the Northern Territory of Australia. The destruction was so complete that it was necessary allow it to evacuate the city to to be rebuilt. by road. it was lucky that only forty-nine people had been killed.000 people were and another 10. a cyclone was heading across the Arafura Sea between Australia and Indonesia. On Christmas Eve it swung southward.44 Cyclones and Hurricanes The Darwin cyclone 1974 As the people of Darwin. aircraft were up-ended in winds of 130 mph. Over days 25.m. most of Darwin was without power and water. were flying . High winds and debris made the roads unsafe.

1987. satellite picture spiral shows the storm over storm is visible on the _. millions of people went to bed expecting no more than the blustery night that had been forecast.. high winds were sweeping across northern France.m. trains were canceled and aircraft were grounded. roads were blocked. By 1 a. At 4 a. . with the wind approaching 100 mph. hundreds of injuries and The center of the millions of dollars' worth of damage. They were in for a shock. The hurricane left behind A This eighteen dead. Europe's October hurricane 1987 On October 15. As the winds increased to hurricane force. the storm crossed the in Britain English Channel. on October 16. with gusts of up to 135 mph. the storm hit London.Cyclones and Hurricanes 45 — . A fierce storm traveling up the coast of western Europe strengthened as it blew northward.m. Roofs were blown off.

a period of continuous heavy rain. Over 250. The waves were accompanied by torrential rolled in rain. surrounded by the floating corpses of their dead livestock. drink. and millions of people were marooned amid the flood waters without food. In 1974. are swollen by the melting of snow /^ Many people were forced to take to boats the with the monsoon.46 Cyclones and Hurricanes Bangladesh cyclone / 1991 The river plains of Bangladesh were once again the locations for disaster in 1991. This increased flow often coincides . Entire communities were swept away. Because the floods had ruined the — — harvest. during the flooding that was caused by the cyclone. sea along the Millions of acres of crops waiting to be harvested were destroyed. waves up to 20 feet high from the whole of the coast of Bangladesh. with an average of nearly 5 inches of rain each day. lashing the unprotected coastline. Ten million people one-tenth of Bangladesh's population were made homeless. or medical care. driven by winds that reached speeds of 145 mph. they led to famine. survivors Every year the waters of the rivers Ganges and fell Many victim to cholera. a disease caused by drinking polluted water. Brahmaputra. in Himalayas. when a cyclone swept in from the Bay of Bengal. which flow through Bangladesh. the monsoon lasted for seven weeks. shelter. On April 30.000 people died in the storm and its aftermath.

DROUGHT

47

The Sahel drought
1970
The

onward

Sahel region stretches west to east

across Africa,

from Mauritania

to

Ethiopia, south of the Sahara Desert.

Until the late 1960s, the land provided a
reasonable living for the people
lived there. Years of

'

iP^^SS-^

who

drought were

followed by years of above-average
rainfall, which provided good crops to
store for the

bad years.

Since 1970, however, there have been

Each year has brought a
drought. Grassland has died and crops
have failed. Animals have been unable to
find food, and the people of the region
have been on the brink of starvation. In
1985 and 1986, more than one million
people in the Sahel died from starvation
and disease. International relief efforts
have been mounted, but are hindered by
transport problems and civil wars.
no good

years.

~~?-p

TV^v

"T-^TT

Many people of the

Sahel,

strong enough to travel,

those

move

who

are

to the

still

cities,

causing health and housing problems there.
Since

T The problem

is

emergency feeding

too great to be solved by
alone.

The

world's richer nations

need to help the people of the Sahel
solutions for coping with the change

find
in

long-term

climate.

1

city

960, the population of Mauritania's capital

Nouakchott, has grown from
20,000 to nearly 400,000.

less

than

48

Drought

The Australian drought
1990

onward

Australian farmers are used to extreme
climatic conditions.

When,

in 1990,

drought began to affect Queensland, they
expected that it would soon end. They
were wrong. The sky remained clear, the
sun blazed down, and no rain fell.
Four years later, Queensland and the
bordering state of New South Wales
were still gripped by the worst drought
for a

hundred

years.

Farming was so

badly affected that wheat had to be
imported, for only the second time
since Australia

cotton crop in
of

two years

was colonized. The
1994 was only half that

before.

A

Many

lakes (like this salt lake)

and water had to be brought

in

and wells dried

up,

from elsewhere.

Kang'aroos and other creatures grazed the land dry,

Millions of sheep faced slaughter

leaving the soil to

be caught up

in

windstorms.

because there was not enough water for

them

to drink.

families

Hundreds of farming

were forced to leave

T-^TC

Ty>

and try to find work in the cities. But
many could not even do that because the
drought left them with crippling debts.

A
in

previous serious drought

in

Australia occurred

1982 and 1983. Australians named
Dry."

came

No
it

for

two

was so heavy

that

rain

fell

years, but
it

In this

will

area there
stop the

but the ground

is

is

soil

still

some

vegetation

left

being blown away,

parched.

it

"the Big

when

it

caused the worst

flooding for a decade.

which

r

their land

It

OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS

The wreck

49

of the Spanish

Armada

1588
By

the end of the

summer

Spain's attempt to invade
failed.

of 1588,
?MI

England had

— 130 ships
—had entered the

The Spanish Armada

carrying 30,000

men

English Channel from the west on
July 29, 1588. Ten days later, off the
French coast, an English fleet half the
size delivered a crushing defeat to the

Spanish.

The surviving Spanish

ships,

many badly damaged,

could not risk
returning west through the Channel, so
they set sail on an eastward course that

would

take

them around

-^= *£

the coast of

Scotland and out into the Atlantic.

A This

The damaged fleet had reached Cape
Wrath, on Scotland's northwestern coast,
when it met the first of a wave of fierce

south coast of England chasing the Spanish

map

English ships

of 1588 shows the English ships off the
fleet. The
were smaller and more maneuverable.

^

crewed by starving and sick men, the
ships were swept helplessly backward
and forward as the wind changed.
Many were driven on to the rocks.
Others were simply swamped and

"TVT

TV

Atlantic storms. Leaking and crippled,

Many of the Spanish sailors were shipwrecked
more than once. The crews of two ships that
had been wrecked crammed onto a third ship,
the Girona. With ,300 men on board, its
1

captain sailed

on

only to be dashed on the

rocks with the loss of

all

but ten men.

disappeared beneath the waves. The

storms raged for a month. Further
ships

were

lost off the coast of Ireland.

Thousands of men
drowned. Many of
the survivors

managed

who

to scramble

ashore in Ireland

were

killed or

starved to death.

Of

the 130 fine Spanish
ships that had set

out for England,
only half managed
to limp

M

home.

The Spanish were not

ready for the howling gales
that

met them

as they

entered the Atlantic. Many
ships sank very quickly.

A total of 1. The crops agricultural areas. still bring destruction to They can be controlled by from North Africa and settled on Cyprus to breed.50 Other Natural Disasters Cyprus locust swarm 1881 Locusts are insects that belong to the grasshopper family. destroy the vegetation. make effective to achieve. They are found in many parts of the world. insecticides sprayed but disputes between neighboring countries often control T A swarm insects. in difficult . The swarms tropical people got together to collect the eggs. miles. numbers of young locusts are produced and they gather together in huge swarms. in 1881. arrival and travel billion hundreds of locusts means devastation for of miles. in the Swarms of Mediterranean. and it seemed that there might be worse to come when the eggs hatched and the young started to feed. breeding grounds. When weather conditions are favorable for breeding. from the air. Further damage was avoided when arrived local locusts and subtropical areas of the world. of locusts can contain up to one cover up to 12 sq. They range in length from about 2 to 4 inches. These swarms then take large flight in search of new When they completely they settle. One of the worst plagues of locusts hit the island of Cyprus. Enormous damage was done to crops. but are particularly common in southeastern Asia and Africa.280 tons of eggs were collected and destroyed.

most of them elderly. Most homes were heated by coal fires. double-decker bus. Steam locomotives. time in City. capital. steadily getting more dirty and more poisonous. powered with there by coal.Other Natural Disasters 51 The great Londo n smog 1952 London today is a clean city compared how it was in 1952. In foggy conditions. The weight of smoke in the air of central London increased by almost ten times. Carbon. It other diseases affecting the lungs. hauled many trains into the And there were few controls on fumes from cars and lorries. at last. but it to health from this form of remains a serious problem. the chemicals mixed with the fog and produced a heavily polluted blanket of "smog. The main cause of smog today from vehicle exhausts. about 4. 1952. The smog affected thousands of sufferers from bronchitis. when a A Transport massive cloud of fog hung over the city for five days. the city moves with only fog lights slowly through to help it." This was what happened on December 5. It hangs large cities like Los in is pollution the air all the Angeles and Mexico Lead-free gas and catalytic converters fitted to vehicle exhausts have helped to reduce the risk pollution. asthma and descended on London. .000 people. were coal-burning power stations and factories not far from the center of the city. sulfur and other chemical fumes from all these sources filled the air. In those days. A in London was almost paralyzed. the it had smog killed When lifted. it on December was estimated that 10. pictured here on the fourth day of smog.

they settled for the night August 21. only two out of 700 people survived. But what they had heard was something far more serious. In one village. Perhaps because and every animal including even the insects was dead. 1986. Then. Lake Nios lies in the crater of an extinct volcano. The "thunder" that the heard was an underground ground through the lakeside villages. By morning. The Lake Nios disaster was not discovered until two days later. Beneath it. he realized that every person poisonous carbon dioxide gas bubbling up to the lake's surface. but deadly quiet.52 Other Natural Disasters Lake Nios 1986 The people of the villages around Lake Nios in Cameroon. to his volcanic explosion that sent a cloud of horror. Families and livestock were suffocated as they slept. Africa After the Lake Nios disaster. deep below the surface of the Earth's crust. He found the area peaceful. when a government official checked out a traveler's story. nestling crater in in its volcanic Cameroon.700 people would be dead. thought they heard thunder as the colorless and odorless gas spread down on instead of rising harmlessly into the air. lies close to the — — . in western central of changes in atmospheric pressure. Africa. villagers molten rock. 1. the Cameroon government sent in troops to bury the dead. A Today Lake Nios looks peaceful once more. They wore masks to protect themselves from any remaining fumes.

This Only map shows the area affected by the one-fifth of the old city fire. A fresh wind blew the flames quickly through the narrow streets of timber houses and into the warehouses on the north bank of the Thames River. but this tactic On the fourth night. destroying everything in Londoners fled in their its thousands to safety in the the city. The damage was terrible. many of the city's important commercial buildings. The old failed. countless shops. hundreds of hills north of called in to pull houses to make a gap that the flames could not cross. down Soldiers were path.m. Fortunately. few lives had been lost. A The damage caused great it took fifty by the fire was so years to rebuild the city . the wind dropped and the flames died down. fire broke out in a baker's shop in Pudding Lane in the City of London. eighty-seven parish churches.000 houses had been destroyed. St Paul's Cathedral. The fire swept through the city. and over 13. remained standing. on Sunday. September 2.FIRES The Great Fire of 53 London 1666 At about 1 a. 1666.

. The summer of 1871 was dry. However. gunpowder was used to destroy buildings in the path of the flames and create a successful firebreak. city. it was carried by the wind through the timber buildings. T Chicago was devastated wooden by the fire.000 made homeless. buildings very badly affected.54 Fires The Chicago fire 1871 Between 1831 and 1871. Over 17. Illinois. When fire broke out on the west side of the city on October 8. By that time. the fire raged on the north side until it was put out by rain twentyseven hours later. 250 people had been killed and 100. house the leaping the river and setting fire to both the north and south sides of the In the south. with It took about three years to rebuild the flattened city. Chicago. grew into a major city. and timber homes were hastily built to settlers who moved there.000 buildings were destroyed.

it had grown rapidly. 227 people were dead. especially through dry wooded areas. The staircases and elevator shafts acted as chimneys.Fires 55 The Sao Paulo fire 1965 VENEZUELA COLOMBIA UADOR Sao Paulo is Brazil's largest city. the bottom ten floors of the building were on fire. carrying the flames rapidly upward. But the fire had spread too rapidly. It started on one of the lower floors of the building. Within two minutes. They fled in panic to the roof. Amazon BRAZIL ERU BOLIVIA Sao Paulo ARGENTINA . hoping to be rescued by the fire department or by helicopter. and within only 20 minutes. In the 1960s. and its main commercial center. In 1965. Before anyone had noticed it. People working on the upper floors were trapped. a fire broke out in a skyscraper that had been designed with no fire protection. and the need to find space for office workers outstripped the concern for safety. it had taken hold. T Fire can spread with frightening speed.

275 sq. By the time it stopped.56 Fires Australian bush 1983 In 1982 and 1983. the flames began to close in on three sides of Melbourne. the fire had killed seventyfive people. something a discarded cigarette butt — —perhaps set an area of eucalyptus trees on fire near the city of Melbourne. Australia suffered a severe drought that dried up thousands of square miles of grassland and forest. outside Melbourne. The small timber-built town of Macedon. fire . Soon. miles of and crops were destroyed. Steadily. In February 1983. the whole forest was a sea of flames. trees Over 1. was reduced to charred rubble.

the leaves.320 sq. backed up by a force of 50. This caught fire perhaps from a carelessly dropped cigarette and triggered off a major disaster. The fire was eventually put out. A firebreak 75 miles wide was hacked through the aircraft forest. can start a devastating forest blowing. but not before it had destroyed a large part of China's timber reserves and rendered the land unusable for years. . Meanwhile.— Fires 57 Chinese forest fire 1987 It was 1987 a windy day when in the early summer a forester in northeastern of China an area of undergrowth with a mechanical cutter. the fire was soon out of control. a wall of flames 112 miles long was advancing through the forest. A Fire warnings such as wooded areas all this are weather the smallest spark can The common in over the world. Expert firefighters were sent from all over China. This risk ground is is fire if strong winds are greatest covered with in fall. butt Fanned by the strong winds. when dead needles and cones. Within a day. and set off to clear — destroying 2. killing 200 people. Five towns were razed to the ground. During dry start a fire. or even the Sun's rays shining through a broken bottle. the machine was leaking oil. smallest spark. miles of forest. sprayed rain-making chemicals above the flames. Unknown to him.000 troops. dry.

looked plague victims became exhausted. when Egypt and Syria. The disease that had struck them was bubonic plague. some believing that those looking after them were in fact intending to kill them. defects or partial paralysis for the rest It spread quickly in the crowded streets of Constantinople. the city for four the plague killed 10. Outbreaks of the disease tormented The emperor Justinian. shown caught the plague but His illness was kept made in this mosaic. a secret from his people. . By August. the capital of the Byzantine Empire. 542. and the unburied bodies added to the spread of disease. followed by swellings and pain so excruciating that they were driven mad.DISEASES 58 Constantinople plague AD 542 In April AD The plague ravaged months. Many who recovered were left with speech through the eastern Mediterranean. it in first in the century ad. of plague although the disease continued to claim victims of their lives. number The victims suffered from delusions. the citizens of Constantinople. Libya. Many of them were becoming ill with a sudden fever. Europe for the next fifteen centuries. were worried. At its height. which had been moving throughout the following winter. There were too few people well enough to bury the dead. The first appearance of bubonic plague western world was in the there was an outbreak From there. a remarkable recovery. People after who cases the had begun to fall. spread through the Roman Empire.000 people a day.

Diseases 59 The Black Death 1348-1390 In 1348. 1\ O^Black Death. The germs that cause the plague were carried by the black fleas. So many people died during the Black Death that there was a great shortage of Whole villages workers. Those who died town to nurse were quickly buried." For those who caught the disease. rat. It recurred again and again over the next forty years. but this was not the end of the epidemic. Among the symptoms of one form of the disease was the appearance of dark blotches on the to victim's skin. . They had often been of the and once the disease had arrived it spread rapidly. and had then been carried across Europe. There was no cure. which A The Indian rat flea. Farms went untended and as a food production fell. The Black Death was followed by result starvation in many parts of Europe. These Jesuit priests are taking plague victims out of the them. This is why this particular outbreak of plague became known as the "Black Death. however. the black rat population The was enormous. A all There were serious outbreaks of plague through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Black Death killed an estimated one-third human population of Europe. but their now made them the Black Death had passed. Between 1348 and 1350. a painful death was almost inevitable. 25 million Europeans died of the associated with witchcraft and ability \ to catch black rats popular Once evil. carrier of the deadly plague or "Black Death. but it was good news for cats. so did the cats' popularity." lived in the fur of In the fourteenth century. It Europe by ship. were abandoned. an epidemic of the disease known as the plague began to spread had spread along caravan trade routes from China to the Middle East.

It was usually fatal. without knowing it. Smallpox was at that time unknown in Mexico. followed by high fever and a disfiguring rash. the deadly disease smallpox. they took with them. The Spanish also introduced the disease to South America when they attacked the Inca Empire. . It swept through the country over the next three years. Highly contagious. The few survivors were left scarred and sometimes blind. smallpox began with severe aches and pains. and the native people had not had the chance to build up resistance to it. killing between two and three million native Mexicans.60 Diseases r~ Smallpox in the Americas 1519-1540 When Spanish troops invaded Mexico in 1519.

Part of the rye crop had been infected with ergot. the French outbreak was the worst for many centuries. Fortunately. Mineral oil chemical was sold as cooking Moroccans suffered almost T A healthy when they field in Morocco ate food oil. and itching. Doctors were unable to find a cure. a type of fungus. it did not spread from one person to another. attacked the people of Lorraine and Burgundy was a form of food poisoning. Their diet was made up mainly of black rye bread.Diseases 61 Ergot poisoning 1816 on rye and contains a regions of eastern France. Nervous fits followed. and it was probably only the chaos following the end of the Napoleonic Wars that allowed the diseased grain to escape notice in 1816.000 instant paralysis cooked in the of rye grows free of the ergot fungus. Over 10. i oi . diseased rye can be easily detected. Although whole families went down with the symptoms. large the nervous system if of people began to experience strange Rye bread is a basic food in northern Europe and there have been many In 1816. What had poison that attacks eaten. However. the illness did not — appear to be infectious that is. which is in that contained a dangerous usually easy to detect. in the Lorraine and Burgundy numbers symptoms. The fungus can grow One in of the worst outbreaks of food poisonm the twentieth century was 1959. outbreaks of ergot poisoning since the Middle Ages. including numbness in their hands and feet. These became more serious and frequent until the victims died.

combat the many other people burned streets to act as a disinfectant. places sulfur disease. it has been By common North America. there was no known cure and it was almost always fatal. It broke out again many more times during the nineteenth century but never again with such devastating effect.62 Diseases Cholera outbreak 1817-1832 caused by bacteria in water contaminated by sewage. India. People in Europe began to panic as reports of the epidemic started to arrive from northern Persia. but in 1817. traders and sailors. But the disease marched on. where caused 78. and one in thirty Poles. Egypt. British warships intercepted cargo ships from infected places. In the English Channel. it was carried by travelers. and some European countries incoming travelers. the epidemic had died down. By India. In those days. Ships then carried cholera across the Atlantic to Cholera struck fast and without warning. used strange treatment methods T In in their attempts to Cairo. By 1832. Cholera is a disease that in India is and southeast Asia. it had reached Britain.000 deaths. unfamiliar with cholera. One in twenty Russians died in the 1830 outbreak. Like the Black Death earlier (see page 59). Throughout history. Afghanistan it 1831. tried to restrict A This caricature of 1 832 shows how some doctors. cholera had reached Russia. and cholera was rife. a particularly violent and deadly form of cholera broke out in Calcutta. Over the next fifteen years it spread westward to infect most of the rest of the world. — and 1830. where and tar in the .

North America or Australasia. These two million made up one-quarter of Ireland's year. Between 1845 and 1 925. Irish it was estimated that nearly five million people had emigrated to the United States. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. often setting the huts on fire so that they could not be reoccupied. New Australians and Zealanders can trace their families back to the Irish emigrants of the 1840s.Diseases 63 The Irish Famine 1845-1849 Ireland in the 1840s in was Europe. Many Americans. Five out of one-room huts. They were unable to pay the rent on their land. Blight-infected seed was used again the next the potatoes rotten. a disease that made making them inedible. and landlords turned them out of their homes. In the wet summer of 1845. but the British government did little. the crop that exhausted soil of their small plots of land. They were starving to death and had no resistance to disease. They ate grew best in the mainly potatoes. About one million Irish people died of either hunger or disease. often as poor as any country six Irish families lived in made of mud. But Irish emigration continued throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. 1845 population. Another million left for England. In 1848 and 1849. and the blight got worse. Canadians. The Irish were desperate. "4> . the Irish potato crop was struck by blight. blight struck again.

Its wine-growing industry [was established with vines imported from France 85 1 . The only answer proved to be to dig up all the infected vines and replace them with new plants that were resistant to phylloxera. and it was many years before the French wine industry recovered. A France has reestablished —thanks producer largely to itself as a major wine the American rootstocks on to which European vines are grafted. ^r-^ Chile is one of the few wine-growing regions unaffected by phylloxera. but by that time the infestation was already out of control. a plant disease that affects grapevines brought disaster to French wine producers.64 Diseases Phylloxera infestation 1860s France is the world's leading wineproducing nation. the imported vines were infested by insects the grape — on the sap of the vine and stunts its growth. But it takes time to establish a vineyard.5 million acres of vineyards were destroyed. Over the next few years about 2. which attack the host plant phylloxera. and eventually the roots of the vine wither and rot. .before the arrival of the disease there. Most French wine is now produced from vines grafted onto phylloxera-resistant American roots. isolated situation has since protected it in Its from the spread of the disease. Phylloxera was first discovered in France in 1863. In the 1860s. T The adult grape microscope. Female phylloxera lay their eggs on the stems of the vine. the Chilean vines are now the only survivors of the original French vines. Leaves and grapes fail to form properly. and lays its It phylloxera under the lives in the roots of the grapevine eggs on the stems. vines were brought in from the United States to improve the quality of the grape crop. This feeds before flying off the next year to infect other vines. Unknown to anyone. With the destruction of the t French vineyards. and these in turn produce more insects. Between 1858 and 1863.

Thousands sailed across the Gulf of Chihli (now Bo Hai) to Manchuria. All together between 9 and 13 — T million Chinese people are believed to have lost their lives. called to starve.Diseases 65 Chinese drought and famine 1870s One of the worst human disasters in history struck China in the 1870s. wooden and find the rife. Diseases such as cholera and bubonic plague were cruel stealing food. the Chinese government imposed a punishment on people caught They were nailed "sorrow families. in. but the raised prices. . Travelers reported seeing villages with piles of starved corpses at the gate. caused in the poor conditions of the famine. There were some in areas. when they were grain told that grain increased was cheaper demand soon there. The —the period of continuous rain for most of water supplies — 1876 and the monsoon on which China relies its failed in two following There were no reserves of grain. and some families had to sell their houses and furniture to stay alive. In up cages. died either of starvation or of diseases even reports of cannibalism During the famine people tried any source of Some tried the bark of trees." in left cages. A Three-quarters of the population had food. in northeastern China. and famine soon set People were forced to eat whatever years. they could find. Desperate people will 'Ty^~T -K~ go to any lengths to food for themselves and their 870s. •4 Even those who sur- vived the famine suffered terribly. The small amount of on the market fetched huge prices.

have reduced their dangers. it had also infected large numbers of civilians in mainland Europe. this time in a stronger. as 1 — rr Influenza epidemics continue to world every few years. reduce . the time the epidemic had died down had killed twice as many people had been killed in World War I. but sweep across the advances in medicine flu. think of influenza (or when a fatal disease except or people who it flu) as strikes the elderly are already sick. it T The outbreak spread from children wore cloth masks Europe to Japan. while sufferers are treated with antibiotics that the severity of the disease. all the death were Young people were possibly because older people had resistance during earlier outbreaks. Europe in May 1918 World War I.66 Diseases Influenza 1918-1919 we do not Today. Yet the flu epidemic that began in 1918 killed 21 million people across the world. The disease spread quickly through the crowded trenches and camps. up as the bacteria over the world. toll began to increase carried badly built By more deadly form. Vaccines are available that prevent some types of influenza. The outbreak began among in soldiers fighting in Influenza returned in the autumn. By July. Here as protection from in A A street cleaner as protection in New York wears a mask from germs that cause influenza and are passed on by coughs and sneezes. 1919. but most people suffered only mildly. and hit.

doctors began to some people seemed to have notice that lost their ability to resist certain infections.Diseases 67 AIDS 1980s onward Early in the 1980s. The virus enters the bloodstream through breaks virus. researchers found that people with AIDS had been infected by a virus which they called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). This has not happened. V ' -^c .000 people have developed AIDS. partly because of the success of efforts to educate people T A giant quilt made by people in about ways of avoiding the disease. including rare pneumonia and forms of They gave name AIDS cancer. but the number who have the HIV therefore at risk. the HIV virus was doctors predicted that it some first identified. is in the skin. The use of When by drug-takers. In 1983. commemorates the victims of AIDS. greatest plague of the twentieth century. It contains the names of hundreds of people who have died as a result of AIDS. the U. would spread rapidly throughout the world's population and become the blood during blood transfusions are all ways in which HIV can be passed on. but some doctors believe that The HIV virus. sex with people. unknown. We do not know whether everyone who has the HIV virus will develop AIDS. and the use of infected infected needles infected and are >^ about one-third of infected people will do so. loss of resistance the this (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). It has been estimated that over 600.S.

jumped Wood in price. most of Britain and northwestern Europe was covered in dense forests of broad-leaved From about two thousand trees. A shortage of wood for charcoal threatened the iron and glass-making industries. trees were the such a rate that the being felled at situation in Europe reached crisis point. years ago. These areas have now to restore them. been replanted with trees . The replaced fast enough. For thousands of years.MANMADE AND ENVIRONMENTAL 68 Deforestation in Europe 1500 c. The shrinking of the forests interfered with the natural drainage of the land and created marshes in many places. quantities in for fuel in trees The homes could not be great European forests had gone forever. the forests began to shrink as they were cleared and taken over for farming. It was also in demand for building houses and ships. By the sixteenth century. which used huge their furnaces. Wood was the main fuel for heating in home and for industry.

Within a few months it two 1 952 had spread across Europe and even across the sea to Britain. such a short time One produce up to twenty-five young each female can year. They ate crops. nibbled the bark and buds of young trees and damaged fields and banks by burrowing. of controlling Myxomatosis. about to cause an agricultural disaster. In 1950. In Australia. Fencing could not keep them out of the farmers' fields. myxomatosis passed quickly through the whole rabbit population.Manmade and Environmental 69 ? Rabbits in Australia 1859 Rabbits are not native to Australia and But in that year a farmer introduced a colony of twenty-four wild rabbits from England. disease that kills rabbits. only two out of every thousand of 1 Europe's rabbits were still alive. Once introduced. infected the rabbits. almost 80 percent of the rabbit population was wiped out. In southeastern Australia. rabbits had few natural enemies. and within a few decades they had become a major problem. destroyed newly planted seeds. By the end of 953. . Mosquitoes were infected with the disease and the insects the rabbits A tried. a was introduced into Australia. Myxomatosis was introduced to Europe in when infected a French landowner released rabbits. a new method was Rabbits became a problem because they breed very in quickly. Little did he know that he was until 1859 there were none there.

000. 10. and $35. has been the scene of great this harbor steamed the homeless.000 were later fixed at 1. where a hill turned away the the explosion full force of from reaching the center of Halifax town.635.000 rendered dramas.70 Manmade and Environmental The Halifax explosion 1917 The harbor of Halifax. 6. Nova Scotia.000 tons of explosives. the Imo. packed with 5. the accident happened in a part of the harbor called the Narrows. collided with another ship. Luckily. Into Canada. this the world's which worst accidental explosion. so high that by felt as far half the island of it rose as from could be seen Nova Scotia. The explosion was and the blast of air broke windows away ship's the Truro. Mont when a French Blanc. "nearly 2.000 people were hurled into eternity." The death rescue ships from the Titanic.513 victims of that made sank tragedy are buried in the cemetery the harborside.000 worth of property was destroyed. . maimed and blinded. A anchor was whisked off through as air. over 60 miles away. One observer wrote at the time that in a brief moment. Some of the 1. but the entire hillside was swept bare. It was in this at harbor too that a massive explosion took place on December 7. A column of smoke a volcano. which count was when it hit an iceberg in 1912. freighter called 1917.

the land will stabilize again were —almost three times as as in 1900. The land movement destroyed wells and irrigation channels. It was not until the 1960s that the Californian government finally faced up to the danger. but the volume of water used increased hugely from the beginning irrigation in the area of the twentieth century. Land in the San Joaquin Valley but at a far slower is still subsiding. Any human activity also occurs naturally in in the San Joaquin Valley. but subsidence soil has dried out. California. and brought ruin to farmers. has subsided during the twentieth century. the valley Water for is is amount of an area that rain. Unless C in many pumping was stopped. Some parts of the Fens eastern England have fallen by as 3 feet much as over the past century because their peat T A vast area of land underground. The use of began as early as 1780. such as coal mining. The pumping of water from beneath the valley was stopped. over 2 million acres of land in the valley being irrigated much The farming in the San Joaquin valley would be destroyed. It sees only a small this. in time. Large areas of the valley began to subside — some places by up to 30 feet. and water was brought instead from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Despite intensively farmed. can cause subsidence. By 1920. result was inevitable. irrigation beneath the valley is pumped from floor.Manmade and Environmental 71 __ San Joaquin Valley subsidence 1920s-1960s The San Joaquin Valley runs southeast to northwest Oakland between Bakersfield and in California. rate. Scientists hope that. .

But disaster struck in the early 1930s. and without grass to hold it together. also in Many farmers from west to California to find this area had to move work.' 'TI&2 3/ I'* made into a film. and Texas. The size of the problem jolted the and federal governments into action. It . sq. the invention of the tractor in the meant that the farmers were able to plow land early twentieth century to grow wheat. There was a drought and the wheat crop failed. was :_' : later ^__ ""-''_ ---^^j |£WM 1 ~~~ E.000 Dust Bowl. state A in Dust storms up to 5 miles high were Oklahoma. It novel The Gropes of Wroth. Sk -''"'-.. restoring the grassland and by encouraging more responsible and forward-looking farming methods. describes the plight of a Dust Bowl farming family forced to leave their land. The plowed soil was left bare and dry. The devastated area of farmland was called the It covered 25. their land for grazing cattle. 7~r The common neighboring Kansas and ~T TT ~~ — TV* \ story of the Dust Bowl inspired the American author John Steinbeck to write T Tens of thousands of farmers in the his best-selling Midwest were ruined by the Dust Bowl. miles. the fierce westerly winds caused dust storms.72 Manmade and Environmental The American Dust Bowl 1930s The first settlers in the Midwest used However.:. The Dust Bowl area was gradually brought back to life by bringing water to the parched land.

Manmade and Environmental 73 7 DDT 1950s In 1939. Also. farmers achieved huge But before long. discovered that DDT was it was accumulating in the bodies of plant-eating animals that ate DDT-sprayed plants. broken Modern down by his crops in more insecticides are DDT. Some insects developed resistance to DDT. "safe" DDT (short for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) had been invented. to die. The first warning signs of DDT buildup came from a study of birds. contact It killed insects by paralyzing their on nervous could be sprayed on crops or over the areas. By eliminating damaging the world. what be doing to humans? A Scientists and ecologists came to the conclusion that DDT was doing more harm than good and its use was restricted in the United States in 1 972. millions of tons of may have saved millions of Africa. making it A A farmworker sprays insecticide on Papua easily New Guinea. where systems. It is completely banned now in the United States. . If DDT might it had eaten eggs with thin shells. lives in DDT were used throughout It insect pests. The DDT they had absorbed from caused them to insects they lay These broke too soon. It disease-carrying insects bred. began to worry. young leaving the could affect birds. insecticide called A new. such as swamps. Over the next thirty years. Europe and many other countries. DDT was not broken down inside the animals and there was concern that it would then pass into the food chain. animals than increases in their crops. scientists less effective than before. there was what seemed to be good news for the world's farmers and for areas where tropical diseases such as malaria flourished.

developing a range of skills including playing the electric organ. particularly to pregnant women. The cause was found to be thalidomide. preventing nausea and helping women to sleep soundly. In 1961. scientists new drug that was came up with a said to control stress during pregnancy. that the drug sale as soon as its was withdrawn from dangers became known. the drug was banned. doctors began to be alarmed number of babies being born with shortened limbs. Thalidomide had been sold without careful testing for possible side-effects. and sometimes other abnormalities. called thalidomide. but by this time about 8. States 1957. •^ Martin Snijders Holland's child.000 babies around the world had been affected. that developed thalidomide agreed to compensate the victims. later By at the It was in the and first prescribed in became available in Europe. and the results so devastating. he learned to with live his disability. United it Developed 1960. After a long legal battle. The story of the "thalidomide childi remains a terrible reminder of the for any new drug to be thoroughly tested before being prescribed." first Even was "thalidomide when quite young.74 Manmade and Environmental Thalidomide 1950s and 1960s In the 1950s. Not every mother who took thalidomide gave birth to a handicapped baby. but the chances of doing so were so high. Nowadays. the drug company A An American victim of thalidomide has learned to paint with her only hand. drug companies are much more careful about testing new drugs. .

The no one outside Russia knows. the explosion would have been observed by satellite. Sverdlovsk ^v RUSSIA # Chelyabinsk St Petersburg Moscow t GERMANY y FRANCE [Aral d 31Al in years behind the United States. and that the names and locations of a number of villages in the area were later removed from official Soviet maps. The Soviet government of that time never released details of major disasters. FINLAND ^ the Soviet production of advanced nuclear weapons.Manmade and Environmental Kyshtym 1958 What may possibly have been one of the world's greatest disasters is shrouded happened at Kyshtym. when relations were hostile between the communist countries. that there waste? Did a nuclear weapon go off by accident? of the Union was the SS is 4 r- Sea 75 . led by the then USSR. a miles from the industrial city of Chelyabinsk in Siberia. the Soviet Union .- -^ ^\ I first — Russian hydrogen 1957 — five was trying desperately bomb the had been tested possible that the Kyshtym explosion It in is was connected with the production or testing of a hydrogen bomb that failed. I >X- there an explosion of nuclear What happened weapons developed warhead or an ordinary high-explosive one. All that known One was a major explosion near Kyshtym. / NORTH \JjRm SEA J u. It kept especially quiet about this one in mystery. but none existed in 1958. and the capitalist countries allied to the United States. \ in which could carry a nuclear to catch up with the United States Kyshtym? £s\ . Today. It was in 1958. at 958. It town about 60 because may it involved nuclear material that have been used in the development of secret nuclear weapons. is Was As yet.

where • alive closed and the tide of deadly waste stopped. At least 150 people died or suffered permanent damage. A few years earlier. people in the village started to of disease or poisoning show symptoms such as convulsions. Kyushu a particularly deadly on the dumping of mercury international ban that time it 1972. It was not until ten years A A victim today. The of Minimata were afraid to have children in case they were mentally retarded or deformed. Its wastes were sea. followed by early and painful deaths. speech difficulties and blindness. by with a grim legacy. of the Minimata Bay disaster by her mother Many of the victims are some poison. mercury cannot be In The Tbkyo Osaka ^^/^ SOUTH KOREA ) plant closed PACIFIC OCEAN can contaminate down fish in 1966. Many families had to care for helpless victims. later that they admitted responsibility. they began to behave strangely. A number of babies were born with deformities or brain damage. But the factory owners refused to allow an inspection. but Minimata had been many young women •/ Minimata Bay it left in stocks. taken into the body. cats of that anything Soon. over ninety countries signed an the ocean. In 1953. making I JAPAN cared for thirty years after the plastics factory Once NORTH KOREA is still of them children. =L1 . Survivors faced lives of extreme difficulty and discomfort. running around crazily and even drowning themselves. Mercury in the was poisoning the fish discharged into the factory wastes and the people (and cats) who ate them. a factory manufacturing plastics had been built on Minimata Bay. eliminated. Japan's southernmost island.76 Manmade and Environmental Minimata Bay pollution 1953 The Minimata gave the first sign was wrong in the fishing village on Kyushu.

Millions of tons of rock slid from the mountainside into the lake. Behind in the Italian the dam stretched a lake four miles long. once. it was all over. was completely wiped out with almost giant everyone villages who lived there. 77 . For weeks. shepherds tending their flocks on the slopes of Mount Toe Alps noticed that the sheep seemed restless. part of a hydroelectric scheme. during the night of October 9.Manmade and Environmental Vaiont Dam collapse 1963 In September 1963. In a few minutes. part of the sodden mountain collapsed. water overflowed the dam At in a wave and swept down onto the villages below. Langarone. Suddenly. It was one of many examples of animals being aware before humans of an impending disaster. The shepherds did not have long to wait before they found out what was wrong. One village. Below Mount Toe was the Vaiont Dam. Several other were devastated. rain had lashed at Mount Toe.

is the mountain of Huascaran. had fallen 10. TThis overturned bus lies in the main square of Yungay. popular with tourists. Peru beat Bulgaria The mass of the valley at 250 an few in falls dammed a river other side of the valley. nearby Ranrahirca had almost disappeared. At Yungay only the tips of the 100-foot palm trees in the town square could be seen.000 people before the disaster .700 people. The earthquake set off an avalanche of mud and snow that swept down its eroded slopes and swallowed up two small towns. 1970. Then 100 men were parachuted in. For 60 hours no helicopter could get through. Not until amateur radio operator made a call for help.78 Manmade and Environmental Yungay avalanche 1970 On May 31. only a days after the avalanche. then poured down ice T and destroyed many houses. a huge earthquake shook the ground along a 250-mile stretch of the coast of Peru. "Don't forget us!" did the outside world realize how much damage had been done. Above Yungay. destroying most of a fishing town called Chimbote and killing 2.000 people. Aircraft overflying the stricken area could do little dust that filled because of the mist and the air. The mountain people of Peru have courage and spirit. a World Cup soccer match. \. Rescuers eventually found that the avalanche had killed about 18.000 feet almost vertically from the west face of Huascaran.640 feet wide and 2 miles long. 1. People cheered and even planted Peruvian flags in the heaps of rubble that had been their homes. a hill 600 feet high was swept up by the avalanche and dumped on the mph. great 1970. Rock and earth 7T -7~ir I. hundreds of thousands of peasants were without shelter or food for almost a week. Meanwhile. A vast mass of ice and rock. On June 2. but it was many days before relief workers could reach the remoter areas. Inland in the area of Callejon de Huaylas. a city of 20.

Filling of the reliable A year later. However no one predicted that its presence store would cause Earth tremors. in India. beneath. The water supply for Bombay and the surrounding district. T It was hoped that the Koyna Reservoir would enough water to supply the City of Bombay. on December 10. that left 177 people Once the stresses had been set up. in 1967. Although these to predict built in the early 1960s to provide a minor tremors were a sign of these stresses. All earthquakes occur as a result of stresses in the fabric of the Earth's crust.300 injured. 1967. The huge Koyna Reservoir was earlier it is still can be almost impossible stresses when an earthquake happen. and are unavoidable natural disasters. however. with Lake Mead reservoir behind was the 1930s. Sometimes. Between 1936 and 1939. . 1 the | it. or how big it will be.Manmade and Environmental . Unknown to anyone. and this is what happened at Koyna. as well as causing extensive damage. there was a powerful earthquake region. measured. local j people experienced hundreds of minor 1 I earthquakes £u in been will an area that had previously free of tremors. an earthquake can be the result of human interference with the stresses that exist in the crust. exactly where it will be centered. constructed. The Koyna Reservoir tremors 1967 Most earthquakes are the result of natural movements in the plates that make up the Earth's crust. dead and 2. it was inevitable that one day they would be released in a major earthquake. tremors began in what had earth previously been an earthquake-free reservoir started in 1962. . the weight of water in the Koyna Reservoir had up stresses in the layers of rock Delhi set INDIA ~V>T The | first evidence that reservoirs could cause earthquakes emerged in the United States in when the giant Hoover Dam. Spi LANKA 79 . The tremors became bigger and more frequent until.

But the full cost of the leak in terms of human health may never be known. Italy. near Milan The factory made a weedkiller. Dioxin poisoning can lead to cancer and other illnesses. . dioxin. ^^ M The disaster ZT*\ first victims of the were small animals such as rabbits. Two weeks after the Seveso leak. from the body. released a cloud of dioxin into the atmosphere. As a result of the Seveso gas leak. the Seveso gas leak started in at which July 1976. TCDD. 1976. What years to A The factory near Milan. one out of every six inhabitants tested was found to have symptoms eliminate dioxin of dioxin poisoning. The accident in Italy. from chemicals. die for Humans exposed to even tiny doses of dioxin suffer an immediate blistering skin rash. people and governments became more aware of the dangers of chemicals. including a deadly poison. there was an accident chemical plant in Seveso.80 Manmade and Environmental Seveso gas leak 1976 On July at a 15. it can take many It can whose it. also cause deformities in babies mothers have been exposed to is worse. industrial accidents involving The case for stricter safety controls on factories that use dangerous chemicals was strengthened. The alarm was raised in Seveso when domestic animals began to no apparent reason. but the long-term effects are far more serious. and it can cause medical problems long after exposure. A mass evacuation from the village was ordered.

after severe pounding by the waves. However.- Manmade and Environmental — The Amoco Cadiz 81 » oil spill 1978 In stormy weather in March 1978. losing money TV^-r t-^tt There are about 2. A tug arrived to take the tanker in tow.000 tankers carrying serious pollution Fish oil. This than in the peak year of tankers are larger than as their beaches were blackened with if in 1 oi is about 1 oil across . Boats sprayed chemicals is fleet therefore greater of ! . broke in two. The Amoco Cadiz drifted onto rocks and. Thousands of seabirds Along the were washed on the water to disperse the — ~7y was months before the English Channel could be declared clean again. The danger of any one of the world's tankers has an accident thousands. today's the past. various attempts were made to clean up. the oil tanker Amoco Cadiz was making its way up the English Channel. shoals of dead fish up. Disaster struck on March 24. The failed in the ship's steering heavy seas. but the towline broke. A As the ship went down. It and seabirds were killed in their the world's oceans. off the coast of Brittany. Carried by the tide.000 fewer 977. Over 78 million gallons of oil gushed from the wreckage into the sea. Coastal resorts also suffered. died. shore. it covered the beaches with a foul-smelling black slime.

TK 9r Environmental experts say that about 924 million gallons of oil are released into the world's oceans each year in most years are oil The biggest offenders tankers that either wash out their tanks at sea or leak wrecked. to seep on the surface in an attempt to contain the oil. By August 7.82 Manmade and Environmental The Ixtoc oil blowout 1979 On June 3. a slick of thick crude oil 400 miles long was moving northward toward the southeastern coast of Texas. the sunk beneath the surface made and allowed tracing its it oil company employee checks in oil rig. the slick was about 500 miles long. The final estimate was that over 210 million gallons had been released in the world's worst-ever oil spill. although the effect on fish and seabirds was horrifying. the same area as the Ixtoc n coast. By early August. First. . This wind crude oil was factors. Attempts to shut off the oil flow failed and the situation went out of control. Efforts to contain the oil slick and prevent it from reaching the coast were hampered by two kept changing. MEXICO Mexico City part of the Mexican rig. there on the Ixtoc oil rig in was a blowout the sea off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. there was less damage than had at first been feared. Second. the so heavy that it of the sea. 1979. PACIFIC off the progress under the barriers (or booms) that had been laid difficult A An Lindod del Carmen xtoc oilfield OCEAN GUATEMALA 3DATEIV — H^NpURASNICARAGUA RICA ""cDSTAr-Rp oil after being . In the end.

the creature that was most seriously hit was the dugong or sea cow. the Nowruz oilfield.Manmade and Environmental The Nowruz blowout oilfield 1983 "Catastrophic" was the Fund (now Wildlife Fund the word the World World Wide for Nature) used in July 1983 to describe events in the Persian Gulf. as governments had to close down the water purification plants that converted seawater into drinking water. hard operation clearing the beaches. The World Wildlife wildlife a severe Fund said that it would years before the condition of the waters in the Gulf would return to normal. from the Nowruz blowouts included turtles. may have been damaged in the fighting. By August. In 1983. the oil was still flowing and experts warned that capping the leaking rigs would take another two months. The bitter war between Iran and Iraq prevented attempts to repair the wells. dolphins and sea snakes. crude oil began to gush from an by had been struck which was at war with oil rig that a ship. blew up another In all. 83 . sticky black oil. The effect on gallons) of oil a was devastating. coating the shores of the Persian Gulf in thick. The rest of the world looked on helplessly as 7.000 barrels (294. is it sticks to a long. and many fish and seabirds perish. In February. Wildlife casualties oil everything. which lives on seaweed. suffered one disaster after another. as many rig on March as eight oil rigs 2. There was also water shortage. However. off the Iranian coast. Iran. It escapes into the sea. Iraq. The World Wildlife Fund reported that almost the entire population of dugongs Persian Gulf had T When take thirty been wiped out by in the July 1983.000 day flooded into the sea.

later . were killed. The next day their city would be in the world's headlines. A The first to suffer were babies. the people of Bhopal in central India went to bed as usual. 40 tons of deadly fumes leaked unnoticed from a storage tank at the Union Carbide chemical plant in the city.84 Manmade and Environmental Bhopal chemical leak 1984 On the night of December 9. ten years later many victims were still awaiting payment. were reported. The fumes contained methyl isocyanate. During the night and through the early hours of December 10. blindness. As the suffocating cloud spread. thousands and many others suffered serious illnesses as a result. children and people with breathing difficulties.000 and many died up for treatment failure. people became seriously T People were over a year still later and other serious ill lining Kidney effects Up to 250. Although Union Carbide admitted responsibility for the disaster and paid compensation to the government. 1984. a chemical used for making pesticides.

85 . western Europe's largest waterway became a river of death. On January was reported that the Rhine was recovering and that in a further six months the river would be almost back to normal. it T The cleanup river involved divers pumping up mud bottom. there was a fire chemical plant beside the Rhine Basle. The Rhine turned red. Complete from the recovery would take until 1997. at While fighting the blaze. to be cleaned up 19. 1987. 1986. Switzerland. half a million fish had died. firemen flushed 30 tons of mercury and other poisonous chemicals As a result. Waterworks that took water from the Rhine were sealed to prevent the poison from entering the human water supply. Several tons of dead eels had been scooped from the riverbed. The Within river its was a affected along the whole of course downstream from Basle in Switzerland through mouth Germany in the Netherlands. The divers themselves had when they came to the surface. to its A massive cleanup operation began. into the Rhine. week.Manmade and Environmental The Basle chemical spillage 1986 On November at a 1.

1986. the United States nearly experienced a disaster When similar to the accident the cooling system at Chernobyl. then part of the Soviet Union. There was an nuclear fuel. hundreds of people became seriously ill with radiation sickness. at the Three Mile Island nuclear in Pennsylvania. A deadly radiation cloud spread westward across Europe. April 25. the temperature of the nuclear core had risen out of control. food crops and animals that had been contaminated had to be destroyed. workers check part of the concrete shield surrounding the reactor at Chernobyl. All over Europe. Twenty-nine people in and around the power station were killed in the blast. there water and gas.86 Manmade and Environmental Chernobyl nuclear accident 1986 On the night of Friday. In March 1 979. engineers at Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukraine. slowed down the pumps that kept water in the station's cooling system flowing around the core of By about midnight. explosion that blew up the building and sent red-hot radioactive dust high into the atmosphere. A Dressed in protective clothing. evacuated was a power failed station leak of radioactive Thousands of people were until the crisis had passed. A huge area of the Ukraine is still too contaminated for people to live in and it will not be safe to farm for years. Despite the evacuation of cities in the Ukraine. .

that remained of Piper Alpha was a tangled mass of wreckage. it had to be reported that 157 of the Piper Alphas crew had died. On July 6. Eventually seven warships and twenty-one other boats would join the rescue attempt. Escaping gas sent a ball of fire shooting across the production platform. The crews of the rescue helicopters and boats performed miracles of bravery and navigation. The crew's well-drilled emergency procedures went into action. 1988. the rig was rocked by an explosion.Manmade and Environmental Piper Alpha 1988 Occidental Petroleum's oil rig Piper Alpha stood in the North Sea. Many crew members jumped 200 feet from the decks into the sea but by this time the water itself was aflame. and flames shot 500 feet into the air. an explosion on the had forced a crew of 1 rig 75 to make a hasty evacuation by helicopter A. in 87 . Scotland. getting in close to the burning rig to pick up survivors. At about midnight. By the morning of July all 7. 227 workers were on board. 120 miles east of Wick. •^ One of six helicopters hovers near the burning oil platform. — The 1 988 disaster was not the first time that danger had threatened the Piper Alpha oil rig. Four years before. but ten minutes later there was another explosion. But the next day.

still FA Cup. The police gave orders for a gate to be unlocked and the supporters poured through. thousands of fans arrived Hillsborough soccer stadium in Sheffield. the referee blew the whistle for the crowds of Liverpool supporters were trying to get into the stadium. a tragedy at the the Netherlands. but there was a fatal delay of several minutes before the fence gates around the field were opened to release the pressure. England. Liverpool playing an Italian club. Thirty-five people A Flowers and supporters' scarves were at left the gates of Liverpool's home field as tokens of remembrance of those who •^ died. Juventus. running onto the field. Six minutes into the game. racing through a tunnel to reach the stands in time to see the action. died. the extra spectators pushed in. Four years before the Hillsborough Liverpool fans were Heysel stadium was in involved in disaster. many fans had been crushed to death and more than 200 injured. .Manmade and Environmental Hillsborough soccer disaster 1989 On April 15. 1989. By that time. people at were crushed against the which had been put up to stop people the front of the stand fence. toll It was the worst disaster in British sports history. As But the stands were already crowded. in the Liverpool fans charged the uventus supporters and trapped them against a wall. Some trapped spectators were able to get to safety by climbing up onto the grandstand balcony above. it was halted by the referee. Liverpool was playing Nottingham at Forest in the semifinal of the When kickoff. European Cup Final. The final death (including one victim who lingered for five years in a coma) was ninety-six. which collapsed.

covered 500 sq. Up high-pressure water jets to mammals Why oil. did the High-pressure hoses were used to from rocks on the Alaskan coast. other T in remove the set. clean buckets. before usm^ ground was together with seals. 1989. Exxon Valdez disaster happen? An inquiry found that the captain had received permission from the Valdez harbor authorities to change course because of a threat of icebergs the new in the area. Pollution also destroyed the feeding grounds of the thousands of migrating birds that cross Alaska twice a year.Manmade and Environmental The Exxon Valdez oil spill 1989 At 9 p. the remoteness of the cleanup was a lengthy and sea site and the fact that the frozen solid. and countless fish.000 seabirds. Her captain knew the Alaskan waters well. the tanker was stuck fast on rocks. n 89 . a on March 24. the Exxon huge supertanker. and 13. There was confusion over course to be ship oil difficult to 30. The Exxon Valdez was only three years old and was equipped with every modern navigational aid. Attempts to clean up the oil were hampered by delays in A Workers gather boulders getting started. sailed from Alaska with a full cargo of crude oil. and foundered on the as a result the rocks.m. miles of and was washed up along over 800 miles of coastline.2 million gallons of oil The were oil spill spilling out. died horribly within days of the disaster. Valdez. Yet three hours after setting sail. The operation.

the draining of pesticides soil is makes is dried and cracked.90 Manmade and Environmental The Aral Sea today The Aral once the world's fourth largest lake. leaving the vessels uselessly grounded by the shore. once able to sail Aral Sea through waters that have disappeared. . 1 now When fell. the shrinking of the Aral Sea continues at the present rate. about 400 miles from the city of Tashkent. as here. In addition. Large-scale schemes diverted river water to the fields to Sea. these chemicals were exposed on the shore and have damaged the health of the people of the area. the level of the lake dropped. It is the scene of one of the world's worst environmental disasters. irrigate the crops. •^ it 908. lies across the border of Khazakstan and Uzbekistan in central Asia. By 1 but from 1 880 onward Modern cotton-farming reversed has this trend. is it into the this land virtually useless. is of that. For most of the nineteenth century the water level in the lake began to nearly rise. feet. — to "T TV~T TC" increase crop production. babies dies within Experts say that if terrible fact one its first in ten year. The problems result from the decision to use the area around the lake for cotton-growing. For much of the year the mud What more. huge amounts of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals v: A t Large parts of what was once the Aral Sea are now vast areas of mud. Its water level has dropped more than 46 feet since 1960. The result is were used ' 5 'V*w that water from the rivers that used to drain into the Aral Sea no longer reaches it. many changes Aral Sea has seen in its level. all One around the Aral Sea. and these The chemicals have drained into the seabed. the level had risen by The dramatic drop in the water level of the is shown by these ships. there will be very little of it left by the year 2000.

trees that soil in place. the farming land is being eroded away. Frequent mudslides damage roads. used to hold the quickly washed away when the rains come.Manmade and Environmental 1 Soil erosion today Modern farming methods have greatly increased the productivity of the land. been cleared. can no longer from the land often move to the if make cities they are able to they are often forced to live in in a to find unhealthy. It is an area of steep clay slopes and deep was once valleys. the soil is Damage the iving to farmland can also cause problems city. Basilicata is a mountainous region of southern Italy bordering the Gulf of Taranto in the Mediterranean. Basilicata but the trees have all invention of the tractor to plow many of Because the forested. overcrowded and sometimes makeshift homes. Even jobs. bridges and irrigation ditches. the dries out in years of Without the low soil rainfall. However. Families who try to find work. 91 . The made it possible the slopes for farming. Slowly but surely. rainfall in the area varies considerably from year to year. these methods can also cause lasting damage if they are not used wisely and within strict guidelines.

A Trees have been a settlement. bulldozers clear an area of the world's tropical forests equal to the size of 200 soccer rate of destruction. Trees use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.92 Manmade and Environmental Deforestation in the Amazon today For hundreds of years people have been clearing land for farming near the Amazon South America. . At the present Amazon rainforest will have disappeared completely within 400 years. Farmers move into the cleared forest land." which may eventually affect the world's climate and all our lives. population growth in South America has produced this in century this had a great increase in the demand for land for raising crops and cattle. T In southeastern Brazil. New cleared here to paved roads encouraged people to move to built make way for nearby have this area. But modern machinery clears the forest far more quickly and ruthlessly than was possible with only hand-tools. but until little impact as the forests are so vast and the areas cleared were quite small. settle nearby. Each minute of every day in the year. but after a few years the the soil is exhausted and the farmers move on. the fields. Their destruction means that the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. This is one cause of "global warming. Meanwhile. large areas of rainforest have been cleared to make space for a This will also encourage people to new railroad.

Pine and other roots and leaves. In the end. Their forests.Manmade and Environmental Acid rain today The smoke and gases released when and oil. It evergreen trees lose their needles. or forest dying. such as coal chemicals collect in the clouds. many trees die. lie in the Germany and Scandinavia path of the prevailing south- westerly winds that cross these areas. The rain from these clouds often falls hundreds of miles from the source of pollution. These "fossil" fuels. M The Germans called the effect of acid rain Waldsterben. are burned and the waste gases produced by factories combine in the atmosphere to produce sulfuric and nitric acid. France and Belgium released millions of tons of sulfur into the air in the 1980s. By the mid1 980s. rivers and lakes have suffered terrible damage from acid rain. They will probably need to be replanted are to recover if they 93 . Waldsterben had severely damaged half of Germany's forests. Trees take in acid rain through their deforms their roots and stops the development of their branches and buds. The industrial areas of Britain. and contains high levels of these acids.

Evaporation of moisture from the forests into the atmosphere spreads water vapor and warmth away from the tropics to the cooler regions of the world. West trying to is (WWF) is international organizations that are show how Africa. In A In this of wood West section of remains of the African rainforest.94 Manmade and Environmental African rainforest clearance today A great band of tropical rainforest stretches across west It and central Africa. the only original vegetation are a and a solitary tree defaced by few splinters graffiti. helping to keep world temperatures in check. ^ 3T*\ easy to understand the clearances. But these are short-term gains at the expense of the whole world. Plants take in carbon dioxide from the air. Rainforests also play an important part in maintaining the health of our planet. hardwoods world climatic in Gabon's good-quality fetch high prices. . the area of forest has declined from forest are destroyed each year. forest-dwellers. In West Africa. miles of Ghana. West tropical down a river to be sold Africa.500 sq. used for farming. The land is then cleared and miles today. The shrinking of Africa's forests could be a factor in a future A Logs float Gabon. 40. provides a habitat for thousands of species of plant and animal including human life. Many The World Wide Fund plant and animal one of the species are threatened with extinction. disaster.000 sq.800 sq. The growing population of West Africa needs land to farm to grow their food crops. The forest hardwoods are exported. At Korup the WWF rainforests can be preserved while at the same time providing a living -3l It is The for their inhabitants. Nature for trying to preserve the rainforests. 13. Park in Cameroon. miles in 1960 to only 5. sale of hardwoods earns much- needed money for these countries.

parts of the world. wet which can climates. In one-third or more is affected Egypt and Pakistan. In Iraq. China. dry regions this does not happen. washes the salts out before they can cause any damage. the problem is most serious in areas where farming land is scarce and large populations create a huge demand for food. Peru. the water dissolves salts damage plant from the roots. has been deposited it The land can be seen as a often has to be abandoned for farming and returns to desert. in . but in hot. Unfortunately. In some places so much salt over the years that white layer. of irrigated land is Egypt. If it land becomes waterlogged. rain The buildup of salt can be severe enough to kill the crop plants. and salinization is an increasing in parts of the United States. J. salinization was not properly grow here. land can be by irrigation from rivers drainage is poor and the for farming only channeling water across and streams.— r Manmade and Environmental 95 Salinization today Salinization is irrigated land In many made fit the slow poisoning of by the deposit of salt. Now virtually by salinization. leaving the harmful salts behind. nothing will TV Almost one-third of the world's food on as half of all the irrigated land in has occurred because the land irrigated land. affected. Spain and Australia. as much A In this former farmland drained. problem ^ Surface water has built up in this Egyptian field because water from irrigation has away water not drained Eventually the will evaporate the heat. more Some irrigated land of salinization than new is is is — grown scientists estimate that being abandoned because being brought into use by irrigation schemes. In soil.

makes life possible by dangerous radiation ultraviolet rays filtering It out —especially —from the Sun. This enough to cause an increase of skin cancer in cases . Instruments on satellites allow the thickness and extent of the ozone layer to be measured. partly caused ~r—re are often used in aerosols. refrigerators. It is T Because of the "hole" wear hats in the ozone layer people and plenty of sunscreen. r not only over the Antarctic that the ozone been affected. chemicals that "hole. show an These observations increasing "hole" in the layer over Antarctica. as there had been thirty years before. In 1988. One result could be an A This map shows the ozone increase in cases of skin cancer. Today. there was only half as The changes in the ozone layer are by CFCs. many manufacturers use different "ozonefriendly" chemicals in their products. If increased amounts of harmful radiation reach the Earth. the effects on plant and animal life could be disastrous. it was found ozone over the northern hemisphere was layer has that 3 percent thinner than change are advised to tv is twenty years before. dry cleaning and the manufacture of certain plastics.96 Manmade and Environmental The Ozone layer today The ozone layer a thin layer of gas in is the stratosphere between 10 and 30 miles above the Earth's surface." In much ozone there 1986.

An inquiry found that the bridge had been badly engineered and placed the blame on its designer. had vanished beneath the waters of the Firth. it was the longest bridge in the world. followed by a brilliant and then total darkness. on the evening of December 28. was opened in 1 890. already designed a railroad bridge for eastern Scotland's other great to a new design. The Forth railroad bridge. dying soon after the inquiry's report was published. A brief shaft of moonlight between the clouds showed never down to try to find the train. with its seventy nine passengers. As they watched. down to the shore to try to find out what had happened. built T After the Tay Bridge collapsed. Sir Thomas Bouch. Despite the bad weather. At about 7 p. Fortunately. .m. the Firth of Forth. steamed past them. built. divers went They were unable to rescue any of the passengers. The wind was blowing fiercely. The first Tay Bridge was two miles long. 1879.- TRAVEL The Tay Bridge 97 collapse 1879 The Tay Bridge carries the main railroad line between London and Aberdeen over the Firth of Tay on the east coast of Scotland. At the time of its opening in May 1878. He became the eightieth victim of the disaster. they rushed flash of light Sir Thomas Bouch had Firth. two signalmen at the southern end of the bridge watched as the Dundee-bound~mail train that the middle section of the bridge was missing. The train. Later calculations showed it was that he had allowed for a wind strength only one-twelfth of what was needed. they saw a shower of sparks fly up from the middle of the bridge.

grew among the passengers. The unthinkable had happened the unsinkable ship was sinking. off the coast of the Titanic collided at full speed with a huge iceberg. even On April 11. — A When the Titanic struck the iceberg off Newfoundland. the Titanic was built with watertight compartments below deck. making good progress for three days and nights. The ship forged westward.224 people. Titanic should be it and she slid been ^ -X V.98 Travel The sinking of the Titanic 1912 People said that she was unsinkable. 1 . -N-E-y^^y^ In the end. On board were 2. including a crew of 800. and water was pouring in. The largest passenger ship afloat. six of the Titanic's watertight compartments had been breached. Below decks. over seventy years after the sinking of the Titanic. Plans to raise the ship have never Many people believe that the left where is as a memorial to whose who died. The ship would stay afloat if up to three of these were flooded. . people went down with the underwater exploration teams located the wreckage and began to explore it.5 I 3 ship as her stern rose to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. the Titanic set out from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York. At about midnight on the fourth Newfoundland. 1912. carried out. evacuation of the ship began. night. but there was a shortage of lifeboats and panic In 1 985.

Bihar is a densely populated state in northeastern India. The official number of dead was put at 268. common poorer parts of India for trains to be massively overcrowded. 1981. that trains and tracks and that pay people to are not looked after properly. . So it was at Bagmati. very Most little of its inhabitants have education and cannot read or write. This made it the worst rail disaster of all time. but many the actual figure authorities claimed that was more than 800. with passengers clinging It is in the to the outer sides of the train or sitting on its roof. a train traveling from Samastipur to Banmukhi in Bihar. that there is too little public transport.Travel 99 Bagmati Railroad Crash 1981 On June 6. In this situation it is not surprising that people cannot afford to pay fares to travel. there is no money to check that safety rules are followed. and the country's poorest. India plunged off a bridge into the Bagmati River. and could have been over a thousand.

the R101 encountered a heavier squall. In 1919. and it plunged toward the ground. But airships carried people in a compartment suspended under filled a gas- "balloon" (see the top picture opposite). the built. it burst into flames. . after a British airship made double crossing of the Atlantic. across the English Channel. the airship ran into heavy winds. The nose of the airship tilted. a non- a stop airship flight from Britain to India was planned. Suddenly. R101. 4. 1930. near Beauvais. northwest of Paris. The Only five disaster so people escaped. winged aircraft had a short range and could carry few passengers.The R101 airship 1930 In the 1920s. Heading southeast A Amongst the wreckage of the RIOi of its huge engines is clearly visible. which shot 295 feet into the air. the London with R101 set fifty-three passengers on board. was On A October out from big new airship. and were considered by some to be the passenger aircraft of the future. shocked the British people that the government decided to end its airship program. As it smashed through the trees of a forest.

In 1936. and the Americans feared filled were supplied to Germany. the airship the Hindenburg made the first of several transatlantic flights. and it also ended the use of hydrogen for the few airships mostly for military purposes that were built afterward. one of turned into an orange fireball it a huge impression because the at Lakehurst. carrying passengers from Frankfurt to Lakehurst. only Germany continued to build airships for passenger airship German use. Hindenburg mooring tower at 1937. after a flight from Germany. A The Hindenburg made ten successful trips across the Atlantic Ocean. New York over the skyscrapers of way to Here City Lakehurst. The Hindenburg's luxury designer. Suddenly. 6. The Hindenburg ended Germany's airship program. had wanted its "balloon" to be with helium gas. It closed a — disaster — chapter in luxury flying.. helium was only manufactured in the United States.m. trapping many passengers and killing thirty-six of them. it it It at about 7:30 burst into flames. Hugo Eckener. Over 787 feet long. the its New Jersey. However. it flies on its New Jersey. which was safer than the usual hydrogen. was a fateful decision. p.The Hindenburg 1937 After the R101 disaster (see opposite) and a crash involving the American Akron in 1933. The Hindenburg tragedy made on the American arrival public was being described journalist His horror as direct into millions of the first The on air fire by a radio was carried eyewitness radio reports of a disaster airship rapidly when it was away from mooring tower only yards its live caught airship's American homes. . Its passengers traveled in great comfort and at 180 mph. that if it On May approached Lakehurst. it was the largest airship ever built. might be used for making weapons.

Enright 1 T on Le Surcouf sails proudly out of harbor going out patrol during the 1930s. It was. A hole in the inner hull of a submarine will wreck it. when HMS Thetis was sunk during trials in Liverpool. with the loss of 99 lives. 1939. The stern. Navy. which could be used to search for the victims of merchant 1 f> A ! ' ^ W ship accidents. To make space between these the vessel sink. It aircraft carrier when commanded by Commander Joseph '44 it of went down on November 29. a merchant ship that brought disaster to Le Surcouf. was hit by the USS Archerfish. during an inspection by the French President armored turret is clearly visible in July 1 toward the 933. A submarine has an inner and an outer hull. a Japanese 994 tons.The sinking of Le Surcouf 1942 When the French submarine Le Surcouf was completed in 1932. two 8-inch guns in a single turret and two antiaircraft guns. Le Surcouf was sailing through Caribbean waters when it was accidentally rammed and sunk by the American merchant ship SS Thompson Lykes on February 18. 1942. F. the with water. There was not a single survivor among the 130 officers and men who had been on board the submarine.S. and it also carried twenty-two torpedoes. of the U. tragically. water is emptied out. is filled argest target ever sunk by a submarine s the Shinano. . A small hangar on board housed a seaplane. ?T -r-r- A Le Surcouf tied up at Cherbourg. to make it rise. France. The worst British disaster involving a submarine occurred on June 1. as it would any other ship. It was the world's worst submarine disaster. it was the largest submarine and one of the most advanced fighting machines in the world. Then in the service of the Free French during World War II. It was armed with ten torpedo tubes.

After just a few minutes. All 346 passengers and crew were dead." . Eyewitnesses saw the aircraft flying fast and low toward the forest before it was torn apart in a massive fireball. The burning wreckage tore a track almost 1 mile long through the trees.Travel 103 Paris air crash 1974 The Turkish Airlines DC. showed that the door to cargo hold had blown off in midair.10 some people to crash and causing to be sucked out. Searchers discovered later that not was in the forest. all the wreckage They found more debris and bodies 7 miles away. A Priests of various denominations at the funeral service for the 35 DC- 1 worst disaster air I victims of the Turkish Airlines At the time it was called "the crash the world has yet known. the burning wreckage of the aircraft lay in the Forest of Ermonville. 1974. Investigations the causing the DC.10 flight left Paris for London on March 3. north of Paris.

104

Travel

Tenerife airport crash
1977
On March 27,

1977, an

American Pan

Am Boeing 747 had been cleared for
from Tenerife

take-off
It

in the Canaries.

turned on to the main airport runway.

Too

late,

the pilot realized that there

was

KLM

another Boeing 747, a Dutch
aircraft, on the runway ahead of him.

Unable to stop in time, the taxiing Pan
Am jet smashed into the KLM Boeing,
killing all 248 people on the Dutch
aircraft.

The

fully loaded fuel tanks in

the wings of both aircraft exploded in
flames.

On

the

Pan

Am plane, seventy

people survived, but most had horrific

The

death toll was 574.
was the tragic result of
confusion, which had begun with a
burns.

The

bomb

A

Personal possessions of the crash victims

piled

up on the runway

was the worst

disaster

at Tenerife.

in

The

were

collision

aviation history.

total

disaster

explosion

at the airport at

Las

Palmas, the Canaries' other main island.

Because of this emergency, both jumbos
had been diverted to Tenerife. In the
chaos that followed, the pilot of the
jet had tried to take off without

KLM

clearance

from

air traffic control.

Spanish servicemen help to clear up the

wreckage of the two

hope of

aircraft.

finding any survivors

There was no
by

this time.

The huge Boeing 747 made
appearance

in

there were 220

The 747 can

its first

1970, and by 1973
in

regular service.

carry up to

passengers, cruising at

500

580 mph.

Travel 105

Challenger space shuttle
1986
At noon on January
Americans

settled

28, 1986, millions of

down

to

watch the

launch of the space shuttle Challenger

was the twenty-fifth
but this one was
five
special. The seven people on board
men and two women included Christa
McAuliffe, a schoolteacher who had

on

television. It

space shuttle

flight,

volunteered for the U.S. government's
"citizens in space" program.

Her

husband and children, with the
crew members,
were among the television audience.
families of the other

Just seventy-three seconds after
off,

lift-

the viewers' smiles turned to cries of

horror

as

they saw Challenger explode.

There was no hope of saving the crew.

The disaster was caused by a faulty seal
on a booster rocket. The leak had ignited
shortly after lift-off and the flames

spread rapidly to the main fuel tank.

A Traveling at nearly 2,000 mph, Challenger
exploded
shuttle

were

fell

later

The remains of the
Ocean, where they
recovered by U.S. Navy divers.

into a fireball.

into the Atlantic

106 Travel

The

Philippines ferry collision

1987
On
I

December

Dona Paz was

21, 1987, the ferry

carrying a

full

load of

passengers to Manila from Tacloban, in
the Philippines, for Christmas.

It

was

a

dark, moonless night, but the weather

was

fine.

The Dona Paz was only

hours' sailing from
in the

its

a

few

destination when,

dark of the early hours,

it

collided

with the oil tanker Victor. The two ships
exploded in a ball of fire, and flaming
oil burst over the sea. Both ships sank
almost at once.

No

one

will ever

know how many

ferry passengers died that night.

passenger

list

of the

The

Dona Paz

contained about 1,550 names, but there

were many more on board
as

many

collision

as 4,000.

was

—possibly

The Dona Paz

A Local

people removed bodies from the water

after the sinking of the

Dona

Poz.

The number of

bodies suggested that the ship probably contained
twice as

many people

as she

was

licensed to carry.

certainly the world's

worst-ever shipping disaster.
The waters around the Philippine islands are
among the most dangerous in the world

A

Philippines navy vessel scoured the area of

the disaster looking for survivors.

It

found none,

but another boat picked up twenty-six people.

because they are overcrowded with shipping

and due to

fierce

storms that often occur there

Between 1972 and 1987, there were
reported

collisions in

the area and

I

eighty

17 sinkings.

the Estonia.m. later. —TC "T ^ As a result of the Baltic ferry disaster engineers have been reevaluating the design of roll-on T life disaster occurred can be roll-off ferries. capsized. 1994. the "roll-on roll-off" ferry Estonia left Talinn in Estonia for the twelve-hour crossing of the Baltic Sea to Stockholm Sweden. Four hours one of the ship's engineers noticed water coming in through the bow doors. At least 910 people of them Swedish were drowned. At about 2:00 a. 107 . Ninety minutes into the voyage. hopelessly crippled with the weight of water inside most her.Travi-i The Baltic ferry sinking 1994 At 7 p. rafts as when the ship the doors at the front of the ship broke away during the storm. the ship hit heavy seas. on September 28. but continued at full speed. made more so that these ships stable in the event that water enters the lower decks. — — — A Passengers took to small capsized.m. Many passengers in went to sleep.. The up Rescue teams as many in military helicopters picked survivors as they could find. The pumps were switched on but were not powerful enough to cope with the amount of water now pouring in.

O more words They are: E N Answers can be found on page I I I at the back of the book . sideways or diagonally) until you have spelled out the words here: Start at the °/n There are three words in the snake connected with disasters. but the letters in each word M E N K are in the right order. The words are jumbled together. Start at the snake's head and see if you can find: EA PO F_ PO_ Start in the middle of the windmill and work outward to find three connected with disasters.Word P E P T I Strings L 4 U \° u There are four words Q \ s T I in this rectangle connected with disasters. bottom left corner and move from here to any other touching square (up. down.

depletion of pesticides see Irish 63 dinosaurs.S. Mikhail 24 cyclones: end of 26 bursts San Francisco 18 Tokyo John 16 civilization. "safe" 73 dioxin leak 80 96 Permian extinctions Europe's October 45 Space Shuttle 105 81 Exxon Valdez 89 ozone layer. "ozone friendly" 96 children. Epic of 35 "global warming" 92 1 Eddystone Lighthouse coal dam "fossil" fuels. Galveston 41 plague 65 of ancient Egypt irrigation. 65 1991 46 dam Minoan rye bread 61 Kanto 21 Kobe/Osaka 25 Tangshan 23 Calcutta 40 see also mineral deaths from 17 "China's sorrow" 36 Bangladesh: 1970 42 St food poisoning: estimated yearly cannibalism 65 Mount Helens 33 North Sea 37 "Big Dry" 48 103 meteorite strikes: plague of American Midwest 72 Sahel 47 60 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Barringer Crater. mudslides. Luis 9 69 see specific diseases drought: locusts: Australian bush 56 Cyprus swarm 50 Chicago 54 Chinese forest 57 Sao Paulo 55 plague of Machu Picchu Tokyo McAuliffe. 76 Mount Etna 28 Caribbean season 43 code names 43 bursts: Vaiont 77 Darwin 44 Center. American 72 floods: duststorms: Arizona 10 1 France 12 Great 35 Siberia 13 Michell. plague of Koyna Reservoir 79 cholera 62. 79 Chinese 65 region 92 83 hurricanes: deforestation: Amazon Nowruz 67 Defoe. Aral Sea 90 oil spills Minimata Bay 76 . 1 1 mercury poisoning 76 "flashover" 55 Aral Sea 90 Yucatan 9 oil rig 82 pollution: leak/spillage. see also drought from subsidence Baltic sinking 107 Philippines collision 106 Tunguska Kyshtym. Siberia 75 13 poisoning. U. 44 1 21 Chernobyl 86 leak 80 Kyshtym poisoning by 52 Three Mile Island 86 39 Heysel stadium 88 Hillsborough 88 Hindenburg HIV virus explosions: mine 70 87 airship 101 Fifi oil rig 87 Permian 8 of "eye the storm" 40 Huskisson. Chinese 65 Sahel 47 Great Fire bush fires. destruction of Eckener. Christa 105 21 American Midwest 72 see also Australian 48 forest fires. drugs see specific drugs flies.7 11 1 1 1 109 Index Lindad del Carmen fires: airship 100. 87 oil spills: Hoover Dam. Huang He 36 Arizona 10 ancient Egyptian Mississippi 38 Muddy" "Big 38 Black Death 59 Boeing 747 104 Bouch. nuclear accidents: Lisbon 16 Messina 20 New Madrid oil frogs. Dust Bowl. salinization leaks see chemical 1 Death see also food European 68 fireball. Sir Thomas 97 earthquakes: Anchorage 22 Antioch 14 Armenian 24 Challenger Space Shuttle 105 chemical leak/spillage: Basle 85 Bhopal 84 chemicals. gas leak. effects of grapevines. Gorbachev. William 99 Constantinople 58 famine: influenza 66 20th-century 67 extinctions. U. see also Black poisoning: by gas 52 by pollution 76 71 ferry disasters: see also acid rain extinction of 9 8 DDT phylloxera 64 Piper Alpha 43 insecticide. handicapped 74. course of 17 myxomatosis 69 61 Shensi Province 15 Valparaiso 19 Mississippi River. Prof. 101 Antioch 14 acid rain 93 AIDS diseases: population control by 67 air crashes: Paris 103 Tenerife airport 104 airship disasters: Hindenburg 101 R101 100 Akron 101 Alvarez. asteroid strike. Daniel 39 African 94 blowouts: Ixtoc 82 Amoco Cadiz 101 see also hurricanes DDT 73 oil 75 oil rig disaster Great Fire of London 53 Hugo Noah's flood 35 gas: 64 ergot poisoning 61 oil rig Honduras 43 Armero 34 National Hurricane 93 Gilgamesh.S.

72a 56a (D. 49a (Private Collection). Le Havre). 20b. Bridgeman Art Library: E. 107a Ferrero). 34b (Aeberli). Sandoz chemical plant 85 San Joachin Valley 71 "surge" 37 Herculaneum and Mount thalidomide 74 "Thirty Percent Club" 93 smallpox. Archive: 35a.below r = right Ardea: 10a & b (Francois Gohier). volcanic eruptions: Armero 34 Australian 48 Mount Henry 39 World Wide Fund for Winstanley. 56b (Jean-Paul & E. 21a &b. 64a Medicine). 88a Lemberg/Pressens Bild). Science Photo Library (Roger essmeyer/ Starlight). 58 (Church of San Vitale. Photo Library Ltd). 76a (Shisei Kuwabara). Scier&kPni ^ifara (NASJ^ av&fc»A. 9b (Mina Carpi). 34a. Camera Press. 67a 68a (Leslie Woodhead). rainforest clearance. 62a (National Library of Medicine). 100a (Victoria and 1 NIBSC). Hutchison: 36a & b (Sarah Errington). 93a I a = above I = left b .31 wind storms. J. (UPI)2r. Science Photo Library (NASA). Kinns). Australian Pelee. 22a & b. b (V. 16b. 28b\fi|regory Dimjian). 47b. Hutchison Library. Parer Intyre). 59 Vulcan (god of Koyna weather: disease 60. wreck 99 33 tsunami: railway disasters: first Mount St Helens. Corbis- Bettmann/UPI. 92a (Dr Morley Read). oil spills Nature Stabiae 27 Katmai. t). 38a (Earth Satellite Corporation). 81a & b (Adrian & b & 83 3a.. 45a (NRSC Ltd). Camera Press (August Sycholt). 25a b. 70. 51a. 46a & b (S. 33b (Vincent Realmuto). 94 22 Knossos 26 Krakatoa 31 Tay Bridge 97 disasters. Camera Press: 3a & b. 28 subsidence: causes 71 Etna. 66 1 30. 73b.BRIGHTON BRANCH LIBRARY 110 River Nile salt 1 95 see also acid rain. I^al^tfgpaphical * SoCWy:^ ©71. % 91a b. 42a b. 74a (Ray Hamilton) 74b (Martin Robert Harding: 73a (Ian Griffiths). Mary Evans la 89a & b (Vanessa Vick). &b. Ardea (Francois left): Gohier). . 23b. 87a.T. Knossos 26 see also tsunami soccer disasters 88 southern Italy 91 R101 Mount Bangladesh 42 Laki 29 Nevado waves: del Ruiz 34 Picture Acknowledgments ouse). & b. 33a (Professor Stewart Lowther). great London 51 Snijders. 59a (John Clegg). Hardy). 27b (Musee des Beaux-Arts. 77a & b. Range/Bettmann. 80a Heitmann). 48b (Hilly James). rat flea Dust Bowl Spanish Armada. Martin 74 Snow. 82. 31a. 41a & b. 101. 35b. 86a. 57b (Dr Nigel Smith). 62b. Camera Press. CorbisBettmann/UPI.W. in the Americas 60 tidal 83. &b. 39a 53a. 32a &b. Charmet). 104a &b (Jonas Cook). Errington). 14b. Hutchison Library. 45b James Stevenson). 54a & b. 60a Bridgeman Art Library (Private Collection). 96a (NASA). 67b. (Geospace). 59b (Jean-Loup Charmet). Corporation of London). Back cover (clockwise from top left): Hulton Deutsch. 93b. & b. 27a(R©ger ight). smog potato blight 63 smog. 61 (Adrian Evans). Ardea (National Library of (John Clegg). 60b (Jean-Loup (Nancy Durrell McKenna). 103a (Reuters). 51b. 99a & b. 24a & b (N. 40a (Brian Brake). &b 94b 95a &b News Unrated 98b. & b. Blickov). 20a. 18a &b. CorbisBettmann. 47a (August Sycholt). Titanic 98 see also ferry satellite volcanic eruptions and vaccination against ancient Egyptian salinization 95 shipping disasters: 28 monitoring 44 John 72 Great 39 submarine sinking 102 79 fire) Waldsterben 93 Union Carbide 84 53 storm: reservoir tremors. cti&Li&a Front cover (clockwise from a& «£ offeri^: 37a &' %£<&& $kp5a tf'BV. 75a. 68b. 66a & b. 53b (Guildhall Library. John 62 sound of 31 of 49 SSI (nuclear weapon) 75 Anchorage 22 Surtsey 29 Krakatoa 31 Lisbon 16 Tambora 30 Tambora 30 Tokyo 21 see also gas Vesuvius. Science Photo Library (Gianni Tortoli). Biofotos: 50a b (Andrew Henley). 40b (Novosti). Science Photo Library (NIBSC). Associated Press: 23a. 101a. 49b (Private Collection). 92b Camera Press (N. Corbis-Bettman: 16a. 55b. nar _ ah Lr£b (Eulogio Munoz). 30a (M3kew Hulton Deutsch: Shipp). 12 (Pekka & b (Novo Ressmeyer / n^aum ience (NRSC Library: 98a (Gianni Torto" (O'Shea Gallery. 44a & b. 69b (Andrew Henley). Bridgeman Art Library (Musee des Beaux-arts. Mount 27 Turner. 15b Picture top Blickov). 38b & b. 26. riafimienfe*13a Albert Museum). soil erosion: Solfatara 52 bridge collapse 97 32 Santorini (Thera) 26 airship 100 problem 69 Pompeii 27 Titanic 98 see also rabbits. 57a (John Ryle). 28a (NASA). 94a (Franchise Sauze). 84a 105a & & b.M. & Parer & & &b (Reuter) 52a 78. 86b (Novosti). Ivleva). 30 St Paul's Cathedral. 43a. London). 64b (Alfred Pasieka). 48a. 30b Peternotte). Ravenna). Le Havre). 69a (G. London African 94 Steinbeck. Ardea (Mina Carpi). 63a &b. 90a.

tSUb Answers I Ul\l KUtSLIU LltSI-lMI-ll 3 9999 03191 463 1 P Word . p 1 Es € R e .e r-fL E Strings &£T^fv M n I < The hidden words are: METEORITE FAMINE FLOOD The hidden words FIRE are: EARTHQUAKE POLLUTION POISON / Did you recognize The hidden words these places? u N OZONE O O N N A TSUNAMI EXPLOSION Krakatoa A China during famine A A San Francisco Kanto A Prehistoric Earth Hi A Antioch A Piper Alpha oil rig <\ Mount Pelee are: A Basle .

3. 5. Disasters Manmade Wonders 1 1 Natural Wonders 12. Men Explorers Sports 4. CT 06816 Set ISBN 0-7172-7691-0 .tsji I 1 Ss3S 1. 6. Women 2. Amazing Animals Grolier Educational SHERMAN TURNPIKE. Inventions Medical Discoveries 9. Champions Tyrants Archaeological Discoveries 7.1 r. DANBURY. 10. 8.