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A LOCAL PHENOMENON

CAUSED BY PREVIOUS EARTHQUAKE.

The alarming earthquake at Valparaiso, writes a correspondent, recalls the events of August loth, 1868, when there was a marvellous agitation of the sea along the East Coast of New Zealand and at the Chatham Islands. It was on a very fine Saturday morning, and at about 3.30 a.m., when the writer -was awakenod at Kaiapoi by the rushing of a large wave up the river. At first it seemed to be a rising wind, but, finally it was decided in my mind to be a t»und ot rushing water, and a fewminutes sufficed to run to the river and witness a wave three feet high coming in at low tide. This was three miles from tbe sea. High water at the point observed is usually 2ft Bin above tow tide level. There were some ketches and schooner* at ihe bar and in the river, including the Challenge, William and Julia, Dart, Nora, Annie, and the s.s. Gazelle. The wave receded and flowed several times up to midday. At the bar it rose 10ft in height, and levelled many of the sandhills on tho beach, which extraordinarily high waves had never previously reached. In the Saltwater 'Creek and along the Brighton and Sumner beach there was "a groat inrush caused by the waves. in Lyttelton at the Government jetty the depth of water was ordinarily 6ft at low tide, but this was seen by Mr Webb, the watchman, to recede at about 4 a.m. Half an hour after a way© 20ft in height rushed inwith the noise of a large steamer. it broko over th* breakwater, and bumped about tho schooner Jane,, the barmti' John Knox, the p.s. Novelty, the schooner Jeanie Duncan, and tbe ketch Margaret. It threw the barque on its beam ends. By a wave 18ft at 10 a.m. the John Knox was parted from its warps and swung clean round. . The schooner Dove., coming up tho harbour under saii, was whirled along by the force of this wave at a terrific rate, and the vesseis in harbour had all their work to hold to their anchors. A ketch, the Straggler, at Little Akaloa, was washed off • a slip and across a paddock, and the Gipsy had an equally lively time in La vera vex's Bay. At Tfcoar-u the sea rose and. fell 10ft five or six times within an hour, tha s.s. Coomerang being buffeted about but nob damaged. At Port Ohalmeffs there was no disturbance, but at the Bluff th© strange action of th© waves was noticed. Ten days later we had news brought by the schooner Rifleman) from the Chatham*. Kere Tupeaiga had been most damaged, the sea having gone inland four miles. At Waitangi houses were washed away, but there was no loss of life.

Forty-six days later 'The Press" printed in its general summary of maail news, brought Try till© s.s. Ruani-ne from Panama to .Wellington, particulars a© to the cause of th© tremendous wave, namely, that there had, on August 13th, two days before, the wave reached New Zealand, been a terrihe earthquake in Peru and Ecuador, north of Valparaiso. -Thousands of lives were lost. Arequjpa, Iquiquo, Tacne, Chencha, etc., 'had been destroyed, and numbers of kvea lost. Two thousand five hundred were supposed to be killed amd 3000 homeless, and property damaged was estumated at £60,000,000. The Panama correspondent of "The Press" stated that Arica no longer existed. The earth had opened and belched, out durst and sulphur fumes, which, if they had lasted for a length of time, would have suffocated thousands. Three warehipu and (several mercantile vessels were,lost. Th© Fredona, United States store ship, was turned bottom upwards, and every soul on board "perished. In the -port of Chala, on th© wave 50ft high, vessels were swept into the town far a considerable distance by three successive seas. ■ /

The earthquake was recorded at the local Observatory, the medium waves arriving about 12.28 p.m. on the 17th inst., and becoming larger until 1.10 p.m., when the maximum motion, was reached, the distance being over two centimetres. Tho motion then gradually died away some two hours afterwaYds-. The -joismograph first recorded the motion at 12.04 p.m., New Zealand time. There were unmistakable indications that' th© earthquake continued until 4.15, and later, at 6.40 and 7.15 p.m., small tremors were recorded, lasting about ten minutes each.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19060821.2.42.1

Bibliographic details

A LOCAL PHENOMENON, Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12577, 21 August 1906

Word Count
732

A LOCAL PHENOMENON Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12577, 21 August 1906

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