EARTHQUAKE AND VOLCANIC ERUPTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA.
EIGHT CITIES LAID WASTE. THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND PERSONS , ' EITHER KILLED OR MADE HOME- | LESS. j A CONFLAGRATION CAUSED BY A I FIRE-BALL VOMITED FROM A BURNING MOUNTAIN. DESTRUCTION OF SAN JOSE DE CUCUTA, IN COLOMBIA. HORRIBLE SCENES OF SUFFERING ■ AND DISMAY.
Panama, June 4. — The royal mail steamship 'Balize,' which arrived at Aspinwall to-day from Savanilla, bring* the following particulars, published in an extra of the ■Barranquilla Shipping List of May 29, of the occurrence and effects of a terrible earthquak in the Andes : —
A MESSAGE OF DEATH AND MOURNING. ! The steamer 'Isabel,' which arrived yes- j terday from the interior, neared our city wjth her flag at half-mast, indicating that she was the bearer of tmwelcoine news ; and ; while there were various conjectures as to I its import, none had for a moment pictured the colossal magnitude of the awful calamity which had taken place.
THE FATAL REVELATION. The information which has reached us on the subject is contained in a letter dated in Salazar, seven leagues from Oucuta, the 19th of lh) present month, from which wo extract and translate the following : — •
EARTHQUAKE IN SALAZAR. | At ton minutes past 11 o'clock a.m. of yesterday (18th) a Bevere earthquake visited tais city and region. LIKE AXD PROPERTY UESTROYED. In this city (Salazar) a largo part of the churches fell, several houses were destroyed, and dome people killed. CUCUTA OBLITERATED : WHOLE FAMILIES
SWEPT FROM EXISTENCE. The city of Cucuta is entirely destroyed. Only a few families were saved. A BALL OF FIRB FROM A VOLCANO. - ' The Botica Alemana (Germau drug store) was set on fire by a ball of fire which was thrown out of the volcano, which is constantly! belching out lava.— Thd volcano has opened itself in front of Santiago in a ridge ailed El Alto de la Giracha.
SAN CAYBTANO DESTROYED. §an Cayetano was destroyed. 8ASTIAG0 ALMOST IN RUINS. .The greater p t vt of Santiago has been destroyed.
OTIIEIl CITIES ALMOST DESOLATED. In Glraiualoto there was great destruction. Avboleda, Cucutilla, and Sau Cristobal are nearly destroyed. The four last named place are almost obliterated.' TUIllTY-yiVK THOUSAND PEKS0N8 STRICKEN . The population of those towns are estimated by a person well acquainted with that region moi c or less as follows : — San Cayotano, 4,000 ; Santiago, 2,000 ; Gramaloto, 3,000; Arboleda, fi,000; Cucutilla, 5,000 ; San Cristobal, 1G.O0O.
THE AFFLICTED BEGION. The section of the country above referred tft ombr.vsei tho rogion3 arotind about where Columbia and Venezuela join, the Columbia portion embracing the State of S>uitamler. It is in some respects the most productive part of the Republic, and tho coffee of this aection is famous all over the world.
EIGHT THOUSAND HUMAN BEINGS DEAD. On the morning of May 23 the community of Mavacaibo was startled by the appalling nSws of the entire destruction, by an earth. , ddgke; of the city of San Joso" cle Oucuta, in Colombia, on the 18th instant, at half-past eleven a.m. The first shopk, accompanied by Joud subterranean detonations, levelled every wall in the city, and buried under its ruins in that single instant of time soms -JEIGHT THOUSAND HUMAN BEIHGS otit of a population of ' 10,000, booUl andof those then spared many have since died of their injuries, and others remain seriously affooted ] ikynind. The account given by the unhappy beihga, who have fled the doomed Bpol; and ore daily arriving here, is harrowing in the extreme. t The first oare of the., few *»y^d, after they collected their shattered senses, was to succour those whose shrieks for aid filled the air on every side ; but their efforts in ! many cases were rendered futile by the con- i tinued trepidation of the earth, by the explosion of powder and fireworks stored in ni.iuy parts of -the city, and by bands of robbera, who roved over the ruins. The survivors had moved to the suburbs of the city, whore encampments were established. The rain commenced to fall in torrents, and amid the impenetrable darkness the groans of the wounded filled the "air, varied only by the Bharp detonations pro-ceeding-from explosive materials amid the ruins. The coming of , a new day shQWod that not more than 2,000 remained alive. Beneath the fallen houses lay from 8*000 to 10,000 dead. Immediately the sad news reached here a subscription was raised by the merchants in money and clothing, whioh was liberally responded to by all ; .and the United States Consul, as agent of the Atlas Steamship Company and the Orinoco Navigation Company, having tendered the use of the steamers « Pico ' and ' Uribaute,' they were that same eveuing despatched with an ample supply of provisions, clothing, and medicines, under the care of a committee to dispense them, and a number of able physioians to*'administer to the wounded and sick. The Governor of this State, also responded nobly to tho call for aid in money and provisions, and furthermore sent a piaket of soldiers for the protection of the emigrants' coming from Oucuta.
TUB INHABITANTS. t ' The population o£ the city at the time of the disaster is ostimated.at about 18,000. COMMERCE. ' It had a large commercial business; and. was the groat dopOt for coffee and cocoa, for shipment either through the Venezuelan ports or down the Magdalena.to this city. A TKOLONOIED SUBTERRANEAN SHOCK. The shock of the earthquake \ras folt sharply at Bogota and adjoing sections. . A. gentleman who was at the time in Facataoiva Bays that the movement lasted tot three- ( quai tors pi a inUlwte. It' ViW *lso-«lightly , felt iu Barranquillft.
DETAILS 'KXPKCT1D. The above particulars are all we nave been 1 ablo to obtain for this mail. *, ,
EARTHQUAKE IN CHILI. In Chili, lllapel, Qoillota, Serena, Ovalle, and Tainaya were vwited by Wveral ahocks i of earthquake on thfl 5th of May.
THE OEOOnAliittO.il. SITtJAMOK AND POPU- I LAMONJpT JTHE ACTLKJTJP RIWION,' j The geographical conditions of New Gran. . ada are, according to several authorities, j both extraordinary and perplexing. In many places may be found traces of stupendous \ catalysms and a disarrangement awl inter- ! mixture of primitive and, sedimentary rooks. In some places 'great rivers and tfaen small ! streams have cut' through mountains of the hardest rocks, leaving dizzy escarpments on ( either side, while everywhere colossal masses ! lifted high above the general level, attest ! the violence of volcanic agencies. That I these agencies have been active the late . ! calamity sadly, attests. It appears that the destruction was greatest in the valley of Oucuta, which 'is situated on the Venezuelan frontier, a' mountainous region, and th6 1 likely scene df such an overwhelming catat- ( trophe. The city of Zalazar- and ■ the 1 surrounding country, whioh ii entirely a volcanic region, suffered severely., The Mpt tion of country destroyed unbraces Use ' regions where Venezuela aud Columbia join. I It is generally considered the most productive ' part of the entire co'untry, ' coffee being one ' of the chief commodities for which the place is famous. The most important oity in the ' section destroyed was* thafr 6t San Jose de Cucuta ; it was situated on the boundary of tho Republic, and was founded by Juan de Marten in 1534. Its estimated population was about 18,000. Moat of it* aotfee and
cocoa were shipped either throngh the Venezuelan ports or down the Magdalena.
THE VOlTLATtON. Tho inhabitants were white, inaiuly of Spanish extraction, comprising not more than one-fourth of the population ; domesticated Indian«, who are both docile and industrious, and are the miners, agriculturalists, herdsmen, and manufacturers of the llepublie ; free negroes forming about one-eighth of the population, and mixed races of whites, Indians, and negroes making nearly ene-helf of the whole. The principal crops are coffee, cotton, sugar, cocao, maize, and in the higher 1 lands, wheat and other grains, indigo and tobacco. Among tho exports coffee holds tho first rank.
fONSlTLAK OPINIONS. OK THE GREAT CALAMITY — THE CONSULS OP COLOMBIA AND COSTA RICA INTERVIEWED. Mr. M. Salgar, Consul of the United States of Colombia, at No. 23, Pine-street, had received no news yesterday with reference to the fearful earthquake at Cucuta. WHAT THE COSTA RICA CONSUL SAYS. Ill conversation with a Herald reporter Mr. J. M. Munoz, Consul of Costa Kioa in this city, stated :— " It appears to me that the accounts received are somewhat exaggerated with reference to the city of San Jose do Cucuta, with which place I am in constant business relations, if whole place has not been engulfed. According to the best of my belief, the population of that city ia>about 25,000, and is the capital of the State of Santauder. A considerable quautity of coffee came down from that district to the port of Maracaibo, by the river Zuila, which port was closed, however, about three months ago, as a vindictive measure to punish the noiebouring Danish island of Curacoa for being the headquarters of revolutionary uprisings in Colombia. Coming back, however, to the subject of the earthquake, I expect we shall have detailed news of the catastrophe by the Brazilian steamer due here on the 19th rnst., and which vessel should leave St. Thomas today.
FORMER VISITATIONS. Early in this century a terrible earthquake occurred at Bogota, now the capital city of the United States of Colombia. There have been also terrible earthquakes in Santa Martha and Rio Hacha on the Atlantic coast. I am of the bolief that there were no volcanoes in the valley of the Cucuta.