Tucson, AZ Earthquake Destruction, May 1887
REMARKABLE EFFECT OF AN EARTHQUAKE IN ARIZONA.
SEVERAL MOUNTAIN PEAKS CRUMBLE NEATH THE SHOCK -- OTHERS SUDDENLY DEVELOP INTO BLAZING VOLCANOES -- MUCH DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.
Tucson, A.T., May 6. -- This place was shaken by an earthquake at 2:12 p.m. Tuesday. No one was injured, but considerable damage was done to buildings. Goods were thrown from the shelves in stores and many houses here were cracked. The shock was accompanied by a rumbling sound. Many clocks were stopped and the entire population fled to the streets terrorstricken. The court house cupola swayed like the mast of a ship in a turbulent sea and the building seemed as though it were toppling over. When the shock struck Santa Catalina mountain great slices of the mountain were torn from its side and thrown to its base. Vast clouds of dust rose above its crest 7,000 feet above the sea level at three to four miles apart. It was believed for some time that a volcano had burst out of the crest of the mountain. One towering peak known as Old Castle, a prominent landmark from Tucson, has entirely disappeared. The extent of the damage can not be told for several days.
This was the first earthquake ever experienced in Tucson. The public school building rocked to and fro like a cradle and some of the plastering fell, causing the utmost consternation among the scholars. The school was at once dismissed for fear of a repetition of the shock. The disturbance lasted, according to a man who timed it, just four minutes. One or two slight vibrations have since been felt. The movement of the tremor was from the northwest. Shortly after the earthquake a volcano broke out twenty-two miles south of this place in Total Wreck mountains and the sky is brilliantly illuminated. The shock was felt from Centerville, Cal., through Arizona and New Mexico, to El Paso, Tex. It was also felt at Guaymas, Mex.
It is believed that a volcano is in active eruption in the San Jose mountains or on the border of Sonora, Mex., about seventy-five miles southwest of here. Thesday afternoon black, curling smoke was plainly visible, and all last night fires were intermittent, bursting into bright light and then apparently dying down only to burst out again. A private telegram received from Fort Huachuca says that General FORSYTH, commanding the post, will head the investigating expedition. Advices from Pantano, Total Wreck, Criterion, Hope and elsewhere show that the earthquake was general throughout Arizona. There is no part of the city which does not show its effect. It will be some time before the full effect of the earthquake in the Santa Catalipa mountains can be learned, as the range is one of the most rugged and difficult of access in the Territory.
Benson, A. T., May 6. -- A severe earthquake shock was felt here at two p.m. Tuesday, and minor shocks were felt at intervals far into the night. Great excitement existed and everybody rushed from their places of business and homes. A Southern Pacific engine ona turn-table was moved forward and backward with brakes set. A party just in from the vicinity of Sappedro river reports that the ground opened about six inches, and that water rose in places that were before perfectly dry. Smoke was noticed about five o'clock, which appeared in the neighborhood of Whetstone mountain, eight miles from here. Some say it is a volcanic eruption, and as nothing of that character has ever been known in this region the greatest surprise and curiosity exists. Several buildings in the city were damaged by serious cracks.
Later news confirms the belief that Whetstone mountain is in eruption. Parties who came in on a train report that fire was seen coming forth from the mountain. Lava and smoke can be seen from the streets of Benson, nearly twenty miles from the distrubance. Parties are arranging to go to the mountain. Another volcano is said to be in existence in the Catalina mountains. Smoke is now pouring forth from Whetstone. Authentic news comes from Willcox that another volcano has made its appearance in Winchester mountain, about forty-five miles from here. Six distinct earthquake shocks have been felt here since Tuesday morning.
Tombstone, A.T., May 6. -- A severe earthquake shock was felt Tuesday about three p.m. and continued furiously forty seconds. This is the first occurrence of the kind ever experienced in this Territory for twenty years. Windows were broken and buildings cracked and injured, but no persons were hurt. Ten miles from this city a lake covering an acre of ground dried up completely in twenty minutes. The embankments along the New Mexico & Arizona railway were moved from their former positions in many instances as much as twelve inches.
Guaymas, Mex., May 6. -- Two earthquake shocks were felt here at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, with short intervals, and lasted altogether a few seconds. The direction was east and west. No damage is reported so far, though all clocks stopped running. Smiliar shocks were felt along the line of the Sonora railroad. The following is from the agent at Torres station:
"One minute after the first quivering sensation the highest cliff of Chivato mountain fell causing a cloud of dust to rise like smoke from the explosion of a large amount of powder. From the station it had the appearance of a volcanic eruption."
Shocks were felt at Ures and Alamos, in Sonora, and Hacorite, in Sinaloa. A church and several buildings were cracked at Ures. A portion of the western side of Cape Harp, at the entrance of Guaymas bay, fell into the gulf. The light-house is uninjured.
Washington, May 6. -- General MILES has forwarded to the Adjutant-General a dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel FORSYTH, commanding Fort Huschuaca, reporting that a severe earthquake shock passed through the Huachuaca range on Tuesday afternoon followed by two lighter shocks at inervals of forty minutes. A heavy pall of smoke hung over the San Jose Mountains, and a heavy column of smoke began to ascent from the highest peak of the Whetstone range. The timber in this range and the hills in the vicinity are covered with lava, and it is thought the mountain has become an active volcano. An exploring party will be sent out.
The Decatur Daily Review Illinois 1887-05-06
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!