1896 Japan Tsunami article. - TMalmay
THE JAPANESETlDAL WAVE. i'he Secretary of State Receives mi Official Account. Washington, July 23.—The secretary o£ state has received a report from the United States charge at Tokio In regard to the recent tidal wave disaster in Japan. "A horrible disaster has befallen Japan," he says, "causing the death of 30,000 of her people and leaving twice that number homeless and starving. On the evening of June 15 last, at about S:10 or S.-20 p. in., the northeastern littoral of tho island of Hondo, for a distance of nearly 200 miles, was submerged by a tremendous tidal wave eighty feet In height, which, sweeping Irresistibly upon the coast, only spent its energy after a rush of miles into the interior, and. retired, leaving a desolate waste of sand and debris, where had stood so many homes and thriving villages. "During the 15th o£ June a number of earthquake shocks had been felt by the Inhabitants of the unfortunate prefectures of Mlyaga, Oomorl and Iwate, but these slight disturbances gave no warning to the fishing people who were celebrating the May festival, which accord- Ing to the Chinese calendar, fell upon that day. As about S o'clock the people living- along tha coast were startled from their tranqullity by a frightful roaring from the sea, likened to the reports of heavy artillery. Housed to action by tho cries of "tsunami, "tsunami," ("tidal wave," "tidal wave,") from those who realized the Impending disaster, the inhabitants rushed from their homes into a night of pitchy blackness to be overtaken and engulfed In their flight to higher ground. "The first meager reports from the acene of the catastrophe gave little idea of its magnitude, but each succeeding budget of news arriving from the north has added to the appalling character of the disaster, until, at the time o£ writing (June 25), it Is estimated that tho mortalities will number more than 30,000. Tha magnitude of the losses of life Is Ijottc-r appreciated by comparing this disaster with those known so well in history. Lisbon, at a conservative estimate, lost but 25,000 of IU people In Its memorable eartluiuake, and Japan hut 7,500 In the Gifu disaster of IS'Jl— in fact the mortalities exceed those o£ the Chinese-Japanese war. "I am pleasstl to say that so far as I have Iwan able to loarn from persons at the scene o£ the disaster, no Americans have suffered either in person or in property. Japan has sought no foreign aid, but seems able to provide for its destitute. The Imperial family has headed the subscription list with 14,000 yen, and donations from private .sources are swelling the relief fund."