Frightful destruction by earthquakes.
--In the Dutch Territories
on the west coast of Sumatra
, and in the islands lying off it, earthquakes of excessive strength, took place in February and March, accompanied by violent commotions in the sea, the water retiring to a great distance and then rushing back with frightful force, sweeping everything before them.
Great destruction was everywhere caused, and many lives lost.
In the islands, however, the effects of these terrible natural phenomena were most marked.
On the island of Nias
, a military post was completely swept away by the sea, and several of the garrison destroyed.
A gunboat lying in the harbor was torn from her anchors and thrown high upon the shore.
On the island Simon
almost the whole of the houses destroyed, and, out of a population of about one thousand, nearly eight hundred perished.
Unusually heavy rains also prevailed in other parts of the dependencies.
In Banda the nutmeg-crops suffered much injury, from this cause.
A fearful eruption of the volcano on the island of Makijan, about thirty-five English miles from Ternate, had caused the loss of many hundreds of lives, and destroyed the whole vegetation.
This took place on the 30th of December.