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disaster overtakes them in one section or


To the east of Japan is what is known as

the "Tuscarora Deep," a vast chasm in the

ocean floor where the water is about five

miles in depth, "the greatest abyss in the

world and the source of the greatest disturbances heretofore known." According

to some scientists, part or all of the Japanese

earthquakes are due to water leaking

through the earth's crust in this vast

chasm and coming In contact with the

molten interior, with resultant explosions,

great or small, according to the amount of

steam formed thereby.

Since 577 A. D. there have been thirty-one great earthquakes in different parts

of the world, each of which took a toll of

more than ten thousand lives, and all of

which, combined, destroyed approximately

a million and a half lives. Of these earthquakes some of the most destructive were

those in Sicily in 1693, with an estimated

loss of 100,000 lives; in Yeddo in 1703, with

an estimated loss of 190,000 lives; and in

Messina in 1908, with an estimated loss of

164,000 lives.

Yet past history records no disaster

equal to that which visited Japan on

September 1, 1923. "Editors searching back

through the list of catastrophes see such

events as the Lisbon earthquake, the destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii, the

Messina disaster, and the San Francisco

earthquake, terrible in themselves, yet the

merest skirmishes as compared with this

latest battle between man and the forces of

nature. It was as if in a few hours New

York City, its suburbs, Jersey City and

Newark, the Jersey coast resorts, and the

vacation centers in the Catskills and the

Adirondacks had been wiped out."

The damaged area extends about 140

miles east and west and 110 miles north

and south, embracing an area of some 40,000

square miles, and including Tokio,