Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - 1884 - A SHOCK OF EARTHQUAKE Felt Over a Large Region – A Vibratory Motion from Washington to Maine
...In Philadelphia the shock was very perceptible and the undulation apparently extended from northeast to southwest, increasing in intensity with each succeeding second and subsiding gradually. The strongest buildings in the city were shaken, rickety chimneys toppled over on the roofs and bricks tumbled down upon the pavements in all parts of the city. Plaster fell from ceilings of houses, chinaware rattled in the closets , door-bells began ringing, glasses clinked in a lively tune upon sideboards and clocks were set to running down. In some instances people were prostrated upon the floors of their dwellings. Nervous people were frightened to such an extent that many thought the destruction of the world was at hand. Everywhere the populace became excited.
Every house in the city was agitated more or less, their occupants running breathlessly into the street, thinking that a terrible explosion had taken place. A few moments later three-fourths of the entire population was in the street. Gradually the impression that an earthquake had occurred grew upon the citizens, and each inquired of his neighbor if he had felt the shocks. Many timid people were so alarmed that they hesitated to re-enter their houses, and did not so until they were assured by stronger-minded neighbors that a repetition of the remarkable event was unlikely.
The shipping was likewise affected by the shock. The large ships loading petroleum in the Schuylkill river snapped their hawsers and were only prevented from going ashore by the united effort of their crews thrown out of their bunks. Huge waves, backed up by the rising tide, overflowed many of the wharves, and considerable property was flooded. In several instances where persons were watching the river from the docks they found themselves suddenly overtaken by huge waves and were thoroughly soaked with water. Deeply laden steamers laying in the Delaware trembled without apparent injury during the existence of the shock...
Statesville, North Carolina
August 15, 1884
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