The Messina Earthquake
( Originally Published 1910 )
THE year 1909 opened blackly for Italy, and the whole world was horror-struck at the- news of the terrible earthquake which had overwhelmed the town of Messina in Sicily, and of Reggio on the mainland. The loss of life was enormous. In Messina alone it is computed that over 100,000 perished. The town was completely ruined, and weeks elapsed before the search parties had completed their labour. Remarkable escapes were recorded : in some instances the members of a family were entombed among the wreckage of fallen buildings for many days. The King and Queen of Italy set a noble example of personal service for the sufferers, travelling down to the scenes of the catastrophe and assisting the Red Cross Societies with the work of rescue. Sympathy was extended to the stricken country from the whole of the civilised world, and the British sailors were prominent in the assistance they rendered in the work of rescue.