On this day: Mount Lamington Erupts

On the 18th of January, 1951 Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, began to erupt.

A jeep stuck up a tree. From the collection of the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

On the 18th of January, 1951 Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, began to erupt.

The worst of the devastation came three days later when a violent blast led to the deaths of some 3000 people, and left more than 5000 homeless.

The following year Australian vulcanologist Tony Taylor was awarded the George Cross for his work during the disaster.

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On this day…

H.M.S. Electra, PY0876

Source

H.M.S. Electra, struck by a “whirlwind” on the passage from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, New South Wales on the 20th of November 1856.

On this day: a Disaster in Montserrat

Montserrat_Plymouth_Street_LampAsh piled streetlamp high on the Streets of Plymouth (1999). Photo by Gary Mark Smith. Volcanic Eruption.

The aftermath of the disaster, photographed in 1999.

Human settlement on the Caribbean island and British Overseas Territory of Montserrat was changed forever on the 25th of June, 1997. Following a couple of years of volcanic activity, on this day a series of pyroclastic flows and lahars (mudslides or debris flows) devastated the capital, Plymouth.

Residents of Plymouth and other settlements had been evacuated some time earlier, but had moved back when the disaster occurred. Nineteen people died before residents were evacuated again – this time permanently.

Today Plymouth is a ghost town. Following the disaster more than two-thirds of the island’s population left. Most did not return.

April 1906: the aftermath of a disaster

A massive earthquake hit San Francisco, USA on the 18th of April, 1906. The fires that it sparked lasted days and devastated the city.

This image shows the community rallying together in the middle of the destruction.

5 Times San Francisco Was Almost Destroyed

On April 18, 1906, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States shook San Francisco. Though the quake was bad, 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the fires

March 1906: Destruction in Yorkshire

The seaside resort of Hornsea in East Riding of Yorkshire, England was devastated by storms in March of 1906. The timber defences along the coastline were destroyed, and much of the beach was swept away.

Around 1907 work began on a new seawall. It can be seen completed in the second image, taken in 1910.

Hornsea_seafront_1906_after_storm_and_1910_after_construction_of_sea_wall Hornsea seafront 1906 after storm and 1910 after construction of sea wall 1912 book. the East Riding of Yorkshir

On this day: Cyclone destruction in Queensland

StateLibQld_2_182515_Destruction_of_part_of_Townsville_Grammar_School_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta'_in_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queenslan

Rubble at Townsville Grammar School. X

Cyclone Leonta hit the north of the state of Queensland in Australia on the 9th of March, 1903.

StateLibQld_2_187151_Destruction_of_the_Burns,_Philp_and_Company's_Bulk_Store_in_Townsville_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta',_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damag

The ruined Burns, Philp and Company’s Bulk Store in Townsville. X

One of the most damaging storms recorded in the tropical region at the time, the storm lasted for around twelve hours.

StateLibQld_2_188687_Storm_damaged_Anglican_Cathedral,_Townsville,_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensland on 9 March 1903. It lasted for

Townsville’s Anglican Cathedral lost its roof. X

Significant destruction was recorded in Townsville, with buildings such as schools and churches suffering major damage.

StateLibQld_2_182511_Destruction_of_the_Townsville_Hospital's_Harvey_Ward_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta',_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensl

Destruction at Townsville Hospital. X

At least fourteen lives were lost in the storm, twelve in Townsville and two inland in the town of Charters Towers.

StateLibQld_2_85280_Australian_Joint_Stock_Bank_at_Bowen_after_the_1903_cycloneCyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensland on 9 March 1903. It las

The damaged Australian Joint Stock Bank in Bowen. X

Severe damage was also recorded, with many houses lost, in towns such as Bowen and Ayr.