Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Your Apocalypse Updated

Alert reader Elena O'Malley writes that Sean Malloy has taken down the Robert Capp photos I discussed in my post of May 10. Apparently, at least a couple of the photos were not of Hiroshima after all; instead, they display the aftermath of the Kanto Earthquake of 1923. One of the most devastating natural disasters of the twentieth century, the Great Kanto Earthquake leveled the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama and killed somewhere between 105,000 and 140,000 people (depending on how one counts the nearly 40,000 people reported as "missing").

I regret that Prof. Malloy and I (among others) were taken in by false evidence, though Malloy deserves credit for correcting the error so quickly. Meanwhile, we might observe that the Kanto Earthquake produced greater property damage, and possibly more human casualties, than the American nuclear attack on Hiroshima 22 years later - proof, if proof were needed, that Nature is still an effective competitor with humanity in the fields of death, destruction, and disaster.

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