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- On Tuesday night the town of Wellington suffered from the calamitous visitation of an earthquake as severe and as destructive in its effects as those which previously occurred in the year 1848. During the day there had been a strong wind from the north-west, with heavy showers about 1 o'clock. Towards evening the wind fell, and it again commenced raining; the rain ceased about 7 o'clock, and the weather was still .and calm. The first shock, which was very severe, and of about two minutes' duration, occurred about ten minutes past nine o'clock, p.m., and was followed at intervals of a few minutes with sharp shocks, the earth during the -greater part of the night having a tremulous motion. .The shocks appeared to come from the north-west. The injury which has been caused to the buildings in the town was caused by the first shock, — the others not being of a destructive character,—but this has been very considerable, chiefly among buildings of a substantial class, constructed of brick. Of these the Bank has suffered most ; the Gaol has also received damage : the wooden buildings have mostly escaped without injury. In the country districts in the neighbourhood of Wellington the earthquake was very severely felt ; "in the Hutt district from the rising of the water and the action of the earthquake together, the bridge over the river Hutt has been thrown down so as to interrupt the communication between the two banks of the river. This visitation has been as sudden and as unexpected as it has been disastrous. It is, however, consoling to reflect that under the mercy of Divine Providence, with one exception, it has been unattended with the loss of human life, as might have been the case if it had occurred during the busy part of the day, or at a later hour when the inhabitants had retired to rest. The exception to which we refer is that of Baron Alzdorf, who had some months previously suffered from an apoplectic stroke, from the effects of which he was slowly recovering. He was struck in the body by portions of the brickwork of the fireplace of the room in which he was sitting, and died immediately. He was one of the earliest colonists, and was very generally and deservedly held in high regard by his fellow-settlers ior his many estimable qualities. During last night (Wednesday) several severe shocks were felt, but none we believe to occasion any injury. At this particular juncture it appears very desirable to give a word of caution respecting fires. The greater part of the fireplaces in the town having been more or less damaged by the earthquake, unless very great care is taken, it is possible,- in the shifts which must necessarily be made in many cases of lighting fires for domestic purposes, that accidents from fire may happen which may lead to disastrous consequences. We would therefore generally suggest the necessity of the greatest care being exercised in the town in this respect, and' that fires should not be kept alight any longer tliah may be absolutely necessaiy.

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Bibliographic details

WELLINGTON., Otago Witness, Volume 06, Issue 182, 17 February 1855

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WELLINGTON. Otago Witness, Volume 06, Issue 182, 17 February 1855