Thursday, April 9, 2009

1908 Sicilian Earthquake and American Assistance

Recently, a major earthquake struck central Italy. A little over 100 years ago, one of the worst tragedies to hit modern Europe occured when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Messina, Italy. The tremors and the tsunami that followed killed upwards of 200,000 people. American ships of the Great White Fleet were making preparations to visit several ports in the Mediterranean before heading home to Norfolk. Instead, they made best possible speed from Egypt upon hearing about the event and participated in disaster relief operations in conjunction with Russian, British, and Dutch sailors.

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