Letter | Published:

The Recent Earthquake


FROM recent observations I have concluded that the seismic vertical was at or near Dr. Green's house, close to the Strood or Causeway which connects the mainland of Essex with Mersea Island. The house was built in 1860, and is therefore new. I may here observe that (as I hinted before in former letters) the modern, cheaply-built cottages were not so much affected as the more ancient ones. The chimneys, walls, &c., of the latter were invariably destroyed, damaged, or cracked—the former seldom so. I was much surprised at this. The first thought naturally was that these “jerry-built” houses would be shaken down like a pack of cards. Is it that their very looseness of structure is in their favour, as compared with the stronger-built cottages of two and three hundred years ago? I have somewhere seen that in earthquake-visited centres the houses most secured from destruction are the loosely-built, low edifices. One can speak plainly on this matter, as no premium is required to encourage the development of “jerry-building.”

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