Even over a hundred years ago, the Belfast Telegraph was first with the news. In 1912 the newspaper reported the sinking of the Titanic on the same day that the liner went down in the north Atlantic — an amazing feat for the time. The Tele was the first newspaper in Europe to report the collision with an iceberg, after a telegram was sent to the newsroom alerting it of the disaster in what remains the earliest documented notification of the disaster.
On 20 May 1883, Krakatau(Krakatoa)–a small volcanic island west of Sumatra in Indonesia–came alive with an eruption noticed by a passing German warship. Other eruptions would be noticed by commercial liners and those living on nearby islands for the next two months. Then on 26 Aug an enormous blast took place that destroyed nearly two-thirds of the island. Pyroclastic flows and huge tsunamis would sweep over nearby islands and coastlines. But the worst came the following morning, At 05:30 am four eruptions would took place with the resulting sound heard over 3,000 miles away. Ash was propelled fifty miles into the air and would circulate around the globe creating colorful sunsets but also lowering temperatures worldwide by several degrees.
36,000 deaths resulted from the eruption and 31,000 were from the tsunamis created when much of the island fell into the water. The highest waves were 120 feet high when they washed over neighboring islands stripping them of people and vegetation. Pyroclastic flows that stretched as far as 40 miles claimed about 4,500.
The Krakatau eruption of 1883 is considered one of the most violent volcanic activities in modern times and even recorded history. However volcanic activity continues in that area. In 1927, a submarine lava dome was detected in the area that had been destroyed by the eruption in 1883. A new island volcano began to emerge spewing ash. Other islands also started appearing as well but eroded away by the sea. Ultimately a fourth one appeared in August 1930 and was able to last. It was named Anak Krakatau and continues to grow taller each year. It is an active volcano and seemed similar to Stromboli in its eruptions. However more recent eruptions have resulted in volcanologists to warning people to keep a safe distance away. And more ominous is that a large lava dome is growing in its crater. Signs point to one day a very explosive event occurring at this volcano.
It was just around noon on 24 August 79 AD when Mt. Vesuvius erupted with a massive 10 mile mushroom cloud sent into the stratosphere. Ash and pumice would rain down on the area for over twelve hours. People who did not flee would face something much worse when a pyroclastic flow would sweep down killing everyone in its path. The choking cloud suffocated everyone even rescuers.
The Bay of Naples where Mt. Vesuvius is located was known for trade and luxury. The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were near the mountain and had a fairly high standard of living. There was even a small resort town named Stabiae. The mountain was not seen as a problem as no major eruption had occurred in Roman history. Tremors had already been felt before that terrible day as excavations indicate they were repairing streets and underground plumbing. However they had no idea the tremors were connected with the nearby mountain.
Pliny The Younger, staying west across the Bay of Naples, recorded what he saw in two letters he sent to Tacitus. Sadly his uncle, Pliny the Elder, would perish when he went over in his boats to Stabiae. Pliny wrote the eruption lasted eighteen hours with Pompeii buried under 14-17 feet of ash and pumice. Herculaneum was buried under 60 feet of mud and volcanic material. Except for some who returned to reclaim what they had lost, the entire area was left buried and abandoned.
Significant excavations beginning in 1927 on have revealed much of what life must have been like before the destruction. More somber were the finding of some 2,000 bodies. Volcanic ash hardened and preserved the outlines of their bodies. Once the flesh had gone, the outline remained but filled in with plaster revealed those final moments of their lives. And it was not pleasant at all.
Vesuvius is still an active volcano. Its last major eruption was in March 1944 and destroyed several small villages with lava. The eruption was seen from Naples and damaged (thanks to hot ash and other things)or destroyed up to 88 B-25 medium bombers based in Terzigno, Italy. The volcano is kept under constant watch to prevent anything on the scale of the eruption of 79 AD to the people who live under its shadow.
This granite memorial is located on St. Nicholas Place, Pier Head, Liverpool, England. Constructed in 1916 by Sir William Gascombe John, its original purpose is to commemorate the 32 engineers who perished on Titanic. With the heavy loss of life in World War I, the monument was also for all maritime engine room fatalities. During World War II, the monument was damaged by shrapnel from bombs that were dropped nearby (still visible today).
The monument is 48 feet tall and shaped as an obelisk on a square pedestal. The east and west side have carved life-size sculptures of stokers and engineers. According to Historic England, the monument is a registered historic monument. Also, its design had influence on future war memorials.
The memorial had a considerable influence upon the design of post 1919 war memorials, particularly in respect of the portrayal of the ordinary man or woman, rather than of members of social or military elites. It is thought to be one of the most artistically significant memorials to the Titanic disaster on either side of the Atlantic.
Historical Note: There is a disconnect between what was believed happened and what did happen regarding the engineers. During the British Inquiry into the disaster, it was learned that all of the engineers had been instructed to leave and went topside in the hopes of surviving the disaster. There simply was nothing further than could be done. They did not die at their posts, as is often claimed. They were ordered to go topside and they did. Neither Boxhall nor Lightoller saw them but it is clear from testimony they went up. Lord Mersey choose not to mention this in his report leaving the impression that the engineers had all died at their posts. Some did not survive but they did not stay down in the bowls of the ship until the end.
As the ship began to sink, Mr Foley and his fellow crewmen took charge of Lifeboat 4, guiding dozens of women and children to safety as they awaited rescue, which eventually came in the form of the RMS Carpathia. An estimated 1,500 people died in the disaster, but every woman and child who were guided on to the lifeboat by Mr Jack Foley survived. The plaque to commemorate the native Youghal man was unveiled in the town over the weekend by Mayor Mary Linehan Foley, with Jack Foley’s great-grandnephew Don Mulcahy, and great-great-grandniece Sarah present at the ceremony.
A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tons of oil in pristine waters off the coast of Mauritius has split in two. The bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the southeastern coast of Mauritius on July 25 and began oozing oil more than a week later, threatening a protected marine park boasting mangrove forests and endangered species.Mauritius declared an environmental emergency and salvage crews raced against the clock to pump the remaining 3,000 tons of oil off the stricken vessel.
We all remember James Cameron’s massively successful 1997 movie Titanic, catapulting its stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into Hollywood super-stardom. Well, Titanic is being turned into a board game with Titanic: The Game. Spin Master Games has used the 1997 movie Titanic for its inspiration for the game, pulling the characters that Cameron used in the movie with players able to play as Jack, Rose, Cal, Ruth or the Captain.
The claim: A Black woman named Malinda Borden died on the Titanic because lifeboats were only for white women and children. The Titanic, the “unsinkable” ship turned tragedy that inspired one of the world’s highest-grossing films of all time, is often associated with iconic romance and Celine Dion. Now, an inaccurate meme is promoting a less romantic story about a Black crew member allegedly killed by discrimination and arctic waters.
During the ceremony, Alderman Frank McCoubrey also stated that “Titanic Belfast is synonymous with Belfast, it is an inspiring testament to RMS Titanic and our city. As First citizen, it was a privilege to be its first official visitor and experience the enhancements it has made for locals this year. There is no doubt that discovering the world-famous story on our doorstep evokes a sense of civic pride and I would encourage locals to support the world-leading attraction by visiting this summer.”
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