Letter | Published:

The Earthquake

Nature volume 30, page 125 | Download Citation



ONE of the most curious effects of the earthquake in the Peldon district is the evidence of a decided twist or apparent rotation of the shock evident in many cases upon standing buildings. Is is very apparent in the cracks throughout Dr. Green's house, which take a complete screw round some of the rooms and the staircase. It is also evident in the twist of the tapering mill chimney shaft where the upper 20 feet (still standing) is screwed round at the fracture upon the lower part about one inch. The same is apparent in a chimney at the “Peldon Rose” Inn, the screwing in this instance being about two inches. As such twists as are evident could not exist within the areas of separate single buildings, it appears to me that they must have been the resultants of the effects of two separate shocks, the first about north to south, and the second immediately following about east to west. That there were two shocks appears to be the general impression of the inhabitants of whom I made inquiry. Another matter of interest is the very peculiar fracture of the eastern side of Dr. Green's house. This fracture leaves the lower northern corner of the wall, and passes diagonally across the house to the upper southern corner. The crack is open about one inch through solid modern brickwork. In this case the line of fracture does not follow a line of weakness in the wall, but cuts directly through the thick chimney breasts, and equally across a window opening, as though there was present no difference in resistance. The angle of fracture is about 47° to the horizon, and it appears to me that this must have been the direction of the first or greater shock in this district, which was therefore more one of upheaval than of horizontal motion. This is also confirmed upon inquiry, as I find many persons in the district felt distinctly the motion of upheaval, but no one who was standing at the time is known to have been thrown down.

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