Letter | Published:

“Earthquakes and Buildings”


PROF. JOHN MILNE, of Tokio, refers in an article under this heading (NATURE, vol. xxix. p. 290) to buildings in Caracas, which are low, slightly pyramidal, have flat roofs, and are bound along their faces with iron. Being for more than twenty years a resident of this city, I hope I may be credited with knowing something of its architecture, and as such I must say that certainly the houses are generally one-story buildings, but all the remainder of the foregoing description is quite erroneous. However, I do not wish to make Mr. Milne answerable for its inaccuracies, as it appears to be taken from a ridiculous article published by one Horace D. Warner in the Atlantic Monthly, March 1883. This article is a most audacious fiction from beginning to end, and in none of the statements it pretends to give with graphic seriousness is there any shadow of truth, as I have pointed out in the American Journal of Science, July 1883, with respect to the principal assertion of an earthquake said to have been witnessed by the author on September 7, 1882, in Caracas.

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