By John Withington
John Withington's e-book is an epic trip throughout the annals of the disastrous occasions that experience marked human heritage. partially I are the entire significant common calamities - floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, plague and famine. half II describes in vibrant aspect the best man-made failures - battle and invasion, persecution and bloodbath, riots and terrorism, explosions and fires, shipwrecks and air crashes. Out of all this horror, the writer produces a hugely wonderful and throught-provoking publication.
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Extra info for Disastrous History of the World: Chronicles of War, Earthquake, Plague and Flood
The first tremor struck at twenty past five on the morning of 28 December. A London ship-broker staying at a hotel in the port of Messina was jolted awake, and felt he was 'falling through space'. Then came a series of awful crashes: 'I was smothered in brick and plaster ... ' He managed to escape by knotting sheets together and climbing down. Other guests jumped out of the hotel's windows but did not survive the fall. Another guest woke up when the roof collapsed. He found himself trapped, unable to move his hands or his feet, but he noticed a faint ray of light near his head.
9 million people were made homeless. In the immediate aftermath, the government wondered whether the capital should be rebuilt elsewhere, but within seven years Tokyo and Yokohama had been completely restored with scarcely any visible scar. The latter emerged as a much better-designed city, but in Tokyo survivors wanted similar homes in similar places to those they had inhabited before, so the new capital became as cluttered, congested and inflammable as the old. Its ability to burn would be demonstrated twenty years later when the Americans who had helped so generously in the aftermath of the great earthquake would return as a deadly enemy (see Chapter 10).
Then, suddenly, he collapsed and died without warning. There were also reportedly a series of miracles. Three days after the earthquake, survivors looked up to see a vision of the Holy Cross floating in the sky. It hovered for an hour as people fell to their knees and prayed. Malalas claimed that pregnant women who had been trapped now emerged 'with newborn infants unscathed'. There were many other extraordinary events 'which no human tongue can express, and of which only the immortal God knows the secret', but none of this altered the fact that 'Antioch the Great' had been flattened.
Disastrous History of the World: Chronicles of War, Earthquake, Plague and Flood by John Withington