History about SamoaAbout Samoa
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Auckland War Memorial Museum's on-line collections are a continuous evolution; new pictures and recordings are added every week. Occasionally, the museum employees will still have to confirm the recordings and errors or omitted information may occur.
Earthquakes in Samoa: a history of the tsunami
As a result of a major quake (magnitude 7.9), 30 million m3 of stone fell into Lituya Bay. The result was a shaft that was 1,720 feet high, more than twice as high as Canary Wharf Tower. As a result of the collision, the devastating tidal waves hit the whole planet several time. They killed the entire planet's surfaces and flooded the whole country except the highest peaks.
An earthquake made the sea floor soar several meters. Fatalities are put at 230,000, the most disastrous tidal wave in history. It detonated about five cc' of rocks and coal and lowered the overall mean temperatures by up to 1.2°C, 13,000 fold the size of the Hiroshima nuclear weapon.
Vessels as far away as South Africa, 4,700 leagues away, were rocking by the waves. Desolation prompted the philospher Voltaire to compose his great work Candide, a satiric work that asks how God can be kind and yet allow such a scare.
And a footnote to the story: 8 years of anger in Samoa, 1892
The RLS probably is not just fascinated by the depiction of double-talking and deceitful colonialism, but also by Stevenson's great South Seas stories - "The Beach of Falesa" and The Ebb-Tide - which have been wrongly overlooked. Attentive to the diversity of South Sea cultures and the harm inflicted on them by the predatory white people, RLS quickly became passionate about them and became entangled in the associated politics.
They concerned the three Colonies that fought for power over Samoa - America, Germany and Britain - and the tribal groups that fought to maintain their old state. The RLS stood on the side of the Samoans who fought for their favourite Samoan monarch Mataafa - to the degree that they participated in roundups and scuffles with them - while the overseas forces persisted in forcing on a marionette master, a kind of dispute that is all too well-known today.