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EARTHQUAKE

BIG SHOiiK AT W£STPOR f

EXTENSIVE DAMAGE REPORTED

POST OFFICE SUFFERS SEVERELY

{UNITED Pni£39 ASSOCIATION, t 'WjESTPORT, Feb. 23

A big earthquake -was experienced about 12.35 to-day, and iias been isucceeded by a series of minor shocks, one at 2 p.m. being accompanied by a loud cannon-like explosion. The first was the most severe, and the most disastrous in the history of Westport. Business places suffered considerable damage; and few houses, escaped withbut something in the nature of crockery, picture's, flower vases, or clocks being broken. Numerous chimheys were also partially destroyed, but the chief damage was done in the business centre.

The recently erected' large brick Post and Telegraph Office got a severe shaking, and is cracked in all directions. The southern wing, at about a foot from its base, has been bodily shifted about half an inch. The metal downpipe on the back of this portion of the building has been bent with the moving building. Inside almost all the gas mantles were destroyed, and a good deal of plaster work on the ceilings and walls came down. The post attd telegraph statf got a great fright, and speedily made their exit oh roach -

The principal sufferers ill the rilairt street are Hansen and Co., warehousemen. who estimate their damage at £SO; Sinclair, chemist, £4O to £SO; G. H. Gothard, ironmonger, £3o_ to £46 ; McDoiiagh, grocel", to £3O; Sk.ei-t-o'n and Joiies, grocers, £2O to £3O; G. W. Martin, ironmonger, £25 to £3O; McWilliamj picture frani-cr arid' fancy goods store (including large plate glass window), £2O; Shaw, hatelkeeper, £ls to £2O; J J./Lawson,"" boot and shoe depot-, £ls to £2O: Dr Dunn,. chemist-. £10: R. Muilan, chemist, £lO to £ls. Mr Sinclair describes the scene in his shop as representing a hailstorm of bottles.. He luckily got out uninjured. Along the Buller road a good deal of loose rock and -earth came down, impeding the progress of the motor and coach services. Considering the severity of the shock it is rather remarkable that no loss of life occurred. Some buildings must have been close on the collapsing stage. Thousands of pounds worth of goods on the shelves .were just hanging in the balance, when the shock ended The business people, being generally of the opinion that things might have been verv much wors«, are taking their loss philosophically. Reports from 6he country show that the shock was severely felt there, but the dartiag-e appears to be confined mainly to collapsed chimneys.

SHOCKS CONTINUE TILL TO-DAY THE'GROUND OPENED'IN PLACES TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE AT THE COAL MINES. WESTPORT, This Day. Earthquake shocks were practically continuous from 12.35 p.m. on Saturday till 8 a.m. to-day. " There were pronounced shocks at 3.30 a.m., 7.30 a.m., and 7.45 a.m., all being accompanied by a noise sirrilar to cannonading. No damage has been done since the first big shock. Women and the younger portion of the population are in a state of apprehension. In three or four plates in the district narrow fissures ojTened. in the ground, but mostly in "made"*' ground. Some headstones were displaced in the cemetery. Scores of gas mantles wei'e broken in the town. Quite a "sea" raged in the river. All hands were below on the steamer Ka.rori, and they ru< lon deck. Arriving steal - report that there was'no disturbance at sea. It is almost impossible to give the mnrber of chimneys damaged.. Nearly every household in the district had articles thrown down, with extensive' breakages in. many placesA Men inside' the collieries report a terrifying experience. It seemed, as if a general collapse was imminent; i.but no actuaTcfamage was done to the mines. Some of the estimates of damage by breakages in Westport crockery stores are:—Hansen, £SO; Gothard, £4O ; Martin. £3O; Skilton, £3O; Bailie, £2O; chemists' shops: Sinclair £SO, Mullah £2O, Dunn £10; other, shops, Lawso'n, I £2O, McDonagh £3O, Cullum £ls ■ hoi tel.*: Shaw £lO. Patterson £-30. Tl:o chimney; lr.ss-ss run into hundreds, and household" breakages are also a costly feature. Later. The plaster in the ceilings of the State schools being loose, and in danger of fß.lling, all the children were dispersed this morning .pending repairs. There are slight cracks in the wall of the Westport Coal Company's laboratory, and £lO worth of chemicals were also destroyed. / There have been no further shocks since 7.45 a.m.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NEM19130224.2.30

Bibliographic details

EARTHQUAKE, Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 24 February 1913

Word Count
719

EARTHQUAKE Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 24 February 1913

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