Pendleton County News


Enterprise Publishing Co.         BUTLER, KY., July 13, 1889               Volume V1. No. 9

TERMS: Sixty Cents a Year, in Advance.
Published at Falmoth.

The Enterprise was entered May 11, 1889, at the Post Office at Falmouth, Ky., as second class matter.


Awful Catastrophes Which Have Decimated Mankind.

Vast Inundations in Which People Have Perished by Tens of Thousands - The Johnstown Disaster Pecularily Horrible.

Numerous are the traditions coming to us from pre-historic periods concerning great floods. Everywhere in the annals of the various nations we meet with similar accounts as that contained in the Bible. It is therefore most likely that at a certain time, several thousand years before the beginning of our era, extraordinary floods occurred in various portions of the earth simultaneously.

Strabo and Diodorus speak of gigantic spring floods having broken upon Egypt at an early date, and Plinius and Tacitus report such of the north of Europe about the time of Christ, which is terrible magnitude and destructivfeness had not their equal. The oldest reports concern the floods in the region of the Red sea along the peninsula of Suez. Stabo chronicles the destruction of many armies of the ancients in this dangerous locality, and Diodorus relates the drowning of the hosts of Artaxerxes at the same place. Here, too, the passage of the Jews through the Red sea and the destruction of the Pharannic hosts find their explanation.

Reliable accounts of disasters by water begin a century or two before our era. They treat until comparatively recentlly almost exclusively of floods in Eirope, owing to the imperfect connection between the nations up to our own times.

About the year 130 B.C. the powerful nation of the Celts, after having suffered for a long time great losses in possessions and lives, were forced by continued destructive floods to forsake their abodes along the shores of the western ocean and emigrate to Italy, the upper Rhine, and the Danube. Likewise, about the year 113 B. C. several Teutonic tribes were driven further south from the northern settlements by like causes. Among the older towns of the world the Ethernal City, Rome, suffered frequently and extremely from inundations of the Tiber, which to fill the cup of the sufferings of the people were generally accompanied by dearth and pestilence. Notable among these floods at Rome are those of the years 44, 27, 23, 22, and 13 B. C. and 5, 15, 36, 51, 69, and 70 A.D. In the year 5 the city was navigated by boats for over a week, and a large number of buildings were destroyed by the flood as were also hundreds of lives.

In the year 60 A. D. great floods inundated many miles of territory along the French and English coasts. Historically remarkable is the disastrous inundation caused by the Rhine in consdquence of the destruction of the dam of Drusus at Nijmwegen, in the Netherlands, by the rebelious Batavians under Civills to stop the advance of the much-feared Romans. This famous dam had been commenced by Drusus Germanicus in the year 5 B. C., but had only been finished five years at the time of this catastrophe.

A. D. 170 the fertile table-land of March in Arabia was turned into a permanent deserb by the breaking of a dam, and the inhabitants were forced to emigrate. In 174 large tracts of Italy and adjoining countires were under water. The year 366 saw the greater portion of Germany inundated. In 444 the city of Is, on the bank of the bay of Douarney, France, formerly quite famous, was swallowed by the floods. In 587 and 590 Germany suffered immense losses by water. The rhine, having always been a source of great and frequent disasters, again did enormous damage in 694. Ninety years after even Charlemagne was stopped on one of his victorious marches by the waters filling the lowlands everywhere. In 793 the sea flooded the whole of East Frisia. The year 800 witnessed the swallowing up of a very large part of Heligoland by the insatiable element. In 815 the Rhine, by another overflow, did more damage than ever before, and in 886 its waters devastated all the adjoining regions along its entire course. During the ninth century the English coasts suffered terribly from floods, and in 986 all the rivers of Central Europe overflowed their banks and caused great loss.

The eleventh century had no less than forty-seven great floods. At one time fully 125 geographical square miles of the Netherlands were laid waste. At this time there also disappeared a number of the larger islands near the southwest coast of the Baltic, making the entire number swallowed up by floods on the same coast from the time of the Roman occupation to the cloose of the eleventh century, fifteen - all large islands.

The loss in human lives, through floods during that century alone with over 1,000-000. Some fo the most disastrous floods during that period were that of 1015, putting a large part of Holland under water and taking more than three years until its last traces had finally disappeared; then the overflow of the Elbe and Weser, destroying entire towns along their banks; further Inundation of the Pomeratian coasts in 1044, reaching in places a smuch as twelve geographical miles into the country, and then the fearful floods in the Alpine regions and Germany in 1060.

In 1106 the old important town of Malamocca, near Venice, was devoured by the Adriatic sea. Other great floods through overflows of the Rhine and Danube occurred in 1124, 1150 and 1152, when large tracts of fruitful lands were devastated and buildings and numerous lives were destroyed in the towns. The year 1162 was another sad one for the north of Europe through its repeated disastrous floods, taking the lives of thousands of human beings and cattle. Again between the years 1212 and 1324 there were hundreds of towns and villages destroyed by floods in that part of the world, and in 1218 a single catastrophe of this kind killed 10,000 human beings at Nordstrand alone. Abot Christmas, 17227, the city of Torum and fifty smaller towns around the Ems sand into the sea.

On the 26th of November, 1282, a most enormous flood gave birth to the Quider sea and put the Dollart into it spresend shape, by which mighty revolutions of nature 80,000 to 100,000 human lives were lost and many towns were wiped out forever. The second so-called "Marcellus" flood in 1300 destroyed twenty eight towns in Sleswick alone, with them 7,600 human beings. It also swept away another half of what had been left for Heligoland, so that only aout wne-fourth of the original island remained. The year 1317 was a most remarkable one in France, Germamny and Austria. All the rivers in these countries overflowed their banks and the water even spurted forth from the depths of the earth. In 1337 a large portion of the province of Zeeland, containing seven diocesses and fourteen villages, was buried beneath the waters. The year 1342 saw the most disastrous of floods which ever visited Germany. Of the 8th of December the German ocean leaped, as it were, upon North Frisia and swallowed up more than 100,000 men women, and the chiledren, together with all their habitations scattered through thirty diocceses. Again fro the 18th to the 20th of November, 1421, 100,000 people were destroyed by a flood near Dortrecht and Rotterdam, together with seventy-one villages, of which twenty-two have never since been seen.

Similar calamities have happened in those regions in the years 1425, 1449, 1475, 1497, 1500, 1511, 1530, 1541, 1613, 1625, 1634, 1717, 1784, 1803, 1809, 1825, and other years, destroying human lives by the hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands. Inn August, 1566, there were general inundations in Switzerland, occasioning a loss of 200,000 florins. The year 1570 was the most disastrous for Holland. Large tracts of valuable lands were flooded and 400,000 peoploe drowned. In 1571 a part of the beatuiful city of Lyons was torn away by the river rRhone. The year 1588 saw the destruciton of the proud Armada, entailing the loss of 20,000 men. In 1595, June 4, an inundation in Switzerland, caused by the outbreak of a glacier, swept away 500 houses and 145 human beings.

On the 11th and 12th of October, the Ganges suddenly overflowed all the adjoining country, taking the lives of 300,000 people in one single night. The flood rose to a height of forty feet. In 1824, October 29-November 1, great floods along the entire range of the Alps did great damage. A remarkable flood occurred in the valley of the Euphrates in 1831. In a single night 7,000 houses and more than 15,000 lives were destroyed. The great flood in China of the year 1856 is still remembered by many. It took place in the province of Honan and cost 200,000 lives. Stanley reports gigantic floods to have taken place in 1871 and 1872 in the valley of the Makata river, Central Africa. Great damage was done in loss of life and property. A most violent flood visited Benhal, in East India, on October 31, 1876. The water was driven up to a height of forty-five feet, covering 141 geographical square miles. 165,000 human lives were lost on that occasion. In 1878, during October, the Nile swallowed up forty-five villages and 800 people. The financial loss amounted to over 12,000,000 francs. The dreadful inundation of Szegedin, Hungary, in 1879 is fresh in the memory of all. The loss was 8,200 buildings and 1,000 lives. In the fall of the same year Spain was flooded and 1,700 peoplle were drowned. In 1881 the Chinese cities of Haifung and Tattee were inundated and 3,0000 of their inhabitants found death in the waters. The year 1882 was an extraordinary year for floods. There were great and disastrous ones in Spain, Italy, France, the Tyrol, Germany and Hungary, causing a fearful loss of lives and property; it amounted in one location of Germany alone to fully 3,200,000 marks, nearly $1,000,000.

The floods in our own country in 1883 are still well remembered. It was Pennsylvania at that time, too, which suffered most. The same year, witnessed another great flood in India, demanding many thousand victims. In the following year it was again our own country which suffered most from the destructive element. Each of the years since then had one or more disastrous floods here or there, but the most dire calamity of this kind in late years was the inundation caused by an overflow of the Yellow river in China, by which over 1,000,000 of people were drowned and 1,800,000 lost their shelter. A smaller inundation took place there in 1888, which year has charged against it a number of floods in several parts of the world.

But while floods are a common occurrence with all their frightful destructiveness and frequesntly much more fearful in magnitude than the one we bewail at present, there is something about the Johnstown catastrophe which makes it peculiar - pecularily horrible. It is the fact that human carelessness, or rather human recklessness, seems to be responsible for it. -- Chicago Mail.










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