By John Withington
John Withington's booklet is an epic trip during the annals of the disastrous occasions that experience marked human historical past. partially I are the entire significant average calamities - floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, plague and famine. half II describes in vibrant element the best man-made failures - struggle and invasion, persecution and bloodbath, riots and terrorism, explosions and fires, shipwrecks and air crashes. Out of all this horror, the writer produces a hugely pleasing and throught-provoking publication.
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Extra info for A Disastrous History of the World: Chronicles of War, Earthquakes, Plauge and Flood
Bizarrely, he said, hardly any of the miners working underground were killed. Official records confirm this: although three-quarters of the mine shafts were damaged, only 13 miners out of 15,000 perished. Some would survive below ground for fifteen days without food or clean water. When they emerged they believed they had been trapped for only three or four days, but their bodies told the true story - they were all reduced to just skin and bone, having each lost up to three stones. ' But just as he was about to try to rescue them, Che heard another call for help from the home of Chiu Kuang-yu, the local Communist Party secretary.
Strengthened the impression of war; recorded The Times. Nearly all the business quarter and most government offices were destroyed. A power station caved in, killing 600, and an arsenal exploded. Sixteen hundred people perished when a cotton mill caught fire. Hundreds more tried to shelter in the basement vault of a bank, only to die from heat and suffocation. Others fled to a wooden bridge spanning the Sumida River, but found themselves trapped as the fire took hold of each bank. Then the Sumida burst its banks, drowning hundreds more.
They were packed so tightly that many died standing up. Others were picked up by the roaring winds, lifted high in the air, then flung down to earth incinerated. Some people stood in canals for hours, only to die with their heads burned beyond recognition; though one ~Noman was in water up to her neck for a whole day with a baby on her head, and both survived. Most of Japan's political leadership was wiped out when the floor collapsed in the room where the newly appointed prime minister was trying to form a cabinet, and twenty of them died.