Letter | Published:

The Earthquake


MY yacht, the Glimpse, lay on the ground in the River Colne at East Donyland, about half a mile above Wivenhoe, and as soon as I was able I joined her in order to study the effects of the late earthquake. I remained in the district about a fortnight, and examined the greater part of the focus of disturbance, over an area of about eight miles long by six broad. I distinguished on the ordnance map by appropriate marks (1) those places where the shock had been so violent that not only nearly all the chimneys had been knocked down but a large proportion of the house walls cracked and some boundary walls thrown down; (2) those where it had been less violent, many of the chimneys having been thrown down, but few or no houses cracked; and (3) those where it had been only sufficiently violent to throw down a few isolated chimneys. This third district extends in some directions much beyond the part examined. District No. 2 may be said to trend from Wivenhoe south-west to somewhat south of Little Wigborough, but sends a small, narrow branch north-west up the Colne valley to Colchester. The main part of District No. 1 is at Peldon, Langenhoe, and Strood Mill, but there are two well-marked outliers, one at Wivenhoe and another at Mortimer in Mersea Island. At and near Wivenhoe the intensity of the shock seems to have been greatest at low levels, and such a supposition would explain the character of that outlier, but no such explanation is applicable to the outlier at Mortimer, since the chief damage there is at a high level, and I was unable to discover any reason for its local character.

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