Sunday, April 24, 2011

⅏Did You Know - The Most Explosive Eruptions of the Last 10,000 Years was Tambora?

Did You Know...

The most explosive eruptions of the last 10,000 years was Tambora, located on an island 300 kilometres east of Bali.

Steam coming out of Tambora Volcano

On April 10, 1815, the Tambora Volcano produced the largest eruption in recorded history. An estimated 150 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of tephra—exploded rock and ash—resulted, with ash from the eruption recognized at least 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) away to the northwest. While the April 10 eruption was catastrophic, historical records and geological analysis of eruption deposits indicate that the volcano had been active between 1812 and 1815. Enough ash was put into the atmosphere from the April 10 eruption to reduce incident sunlight on the Earth’s surface, causing global cooling, which resulted in the 1816 “year without a summer.”

Only 26 of the island's original 12 000 inhabitants survived. In all, the eruption, accompanying earthquakes and subsequent starvation caused the deaths of more than 90 000 people.
Ash fallout from this eruption was widespread with one centimetre recorded as much as 900 kilometres from the vent. The climatic effects from this eruption were dramatic, both in the region and globally. In Europe and parts of the United States, 1815 became known as the year without summer. Overall, the global average temperature is estimated to have fallen by 0.4°C to 0.7°C with the cooler temperatures triggering widespread famine, starvation and disease. 
In 2004, scientists discovered the remains of a village, and two adults buried under approximately 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) of ash in a gully on Tambora’s flank—remnants of the former Kingdom of Tambora preserved by the 1815 eruption that destroyed it. The similarity of the Tambora remains to those associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius has led to the Tambora site’s description as “the Pompeii of the East.” 

Did You Know?  For the month of
back in.....

  • 1790, Benjamin Franklin died.  On April 17, 1790, American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at age 84.
  • 1812, The first White House wedding took place, when First Lady Dolly Madison's sister married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.  All told, there have been 16 White House weddings; the most recent was Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother in 1994!
  • 1867, The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million (about two cents per acre).  Critics attacked U.S. Secretary of State William Seward for paying so much for what was declared a "polar bear garden"; for years afterward, the land was referred to as "Seward's Folly."
  • 1906, The Great San Francisco EarthquakeAt 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.
  • 1915, Germans introduced poison gas.  On April 22, 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the western front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas against two French colonial divisions at Ypres, Belgium. This was the first major gas attack by the Germans, and it devastated the Allied line.  A second gas attack, against a Canadian division, on April 24, pushed the Allies further back, and by May they had retreated to the town of Ypres. The Second Battle of Ypres ended on May 25, with insignificant gains for the Germans. The introduction of poison gas, however, would have great significance in World War I.
  • 1936, A single horsehair uncovered a murder.  After a week of tracking down every conceivable lead, police finally find the evidence they need in order to break the case of Nancy Titterton's rape-murder in New York City. Titterton, a novelist and the wife of NBC executive Lewis Titterton, was raped and strangled in her upscale home on Beekman Place on the morning of April 10, 1936. The only clues left behind were a foot-long piece of cord that had been used to tie Titterton's hands and a single horsehair found on her bedspread. 
  • 1941, Yugoslavia surrenderedDuring World War II, representatives of Yugoslavia's various regions sign an armistice with Nazi Germany at Belgrade, ending 11 days of futile resistance against the invading German Wehrmacht. More than 300,000 Yugoslav officers and soldiers were taken prisoner. Only 200 Germans died in the conquest of Yugoslavia.
    Eddie Cochran
  • 1945, Journalist Ernie Pyle killed.  During World War II, journalist Ernie Pyle, America's most popular war correspondent, is killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific. In 1942, after the United States entered World War II, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent. He covered the North Africa campaign, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, and on June 7, 1944, went ashore at Normandy the day after Allied forces landed.
  • 1956, Grace Kelly and Prince Raimer married.  American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony on April 18, 1956.
  • 1960, Eddie Cochran died, and Gene Vincent is injured in a UK car accident.  Eddie Cochran, the man behind "Summertime Blues" and "C'mon Everybody," was killed on this day in 1960 when the taxi carrying him from a show in Bristol, England, crashed en route to the airport in London, where he was to catch a flight back home to the United States. A raw and exciting rocker with a cocky, rebellious image, Eddie Cochran was very different from the polished and packaged idols being heavily marketed to American teenagers in the years between the rise of Elvis Presley and the arrival of the Beatles. And while he may have faded from popular memory in the years since his tragic and early death, his biggest hits have not.
  • 1967, Soviet cosmonaut is killed.  Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed when his parachute fails to deploy during his spacecraft's landing.  Komarov was testing the spacecraft Soyuz I in the midst of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Earlier in 1967, the U.S. space program had experienced its own tragedy. Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chafee, NASA astronauts in the Apollo program, were killed in a fire during tests on the ground. There was vast public mourning of Komarov in Moscow and his ashes were buried in the wall of the Kremlin. Sadly, Komarov's wife had not been told of the Soyuz I launch until after Komarov was already in orbit and did not get to say goodbye to her husband.
  • 1974, The Red Brigade Terrorized Italy.  On April 18, 1974,  Italian prosecutor Mario Sossi is kidnapped by the Red Brigades. It was the first time that the left-wing terrorist group had directly struck the Italian government, marking the beginning of tensions that lasted for 10 years.
  • 1978, Korean Air Lines jet forced down over Soviet Union.  Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk.
  • 1983, Suicide bomber destroyed U.S. Embassy in Beirut.  The U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is almost completely destroyed by a car-bomb explosion that kills 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon.
  • 1989, Chinese students protested against government.  Thousands of Chinese students continue to take to the streets in Beijing to protest government policies and issue a call for greater democracy in the communist People's Republic of China (PRC). The protests grew until the Chinese government ruthlessly suppressed them in June during what came to be known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
  • 1992, Sewers exploded in Guadalajara.  Dozens of sewer explosions in Guadalajara, Mexico, kill more than 200 people and damage 1,000 buildings. The series of explosions was caused by a gas leak, the warning signs of which were ignored by the Mexican government and the national oil company.
     On April 22, at about 11:30 a.m., a series of powerful explosions began. They took place in an area about one mile long and seemed to come from 35 feet below-ground along the sewer system. Twenty square blocks of Guadalajara were leveled or seriously damaged. In two places, craters nearly 300 feet deep opened up, swallowing the surrounding buildings, roads, cars and buses.
  • 1997, Fujimori ordered assault on Japanese ambassador's home.  In Lima, Peru, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori orders a commando assault on the Japanese ambassador's home, hoping to free 72 hostages held for more than four months by armed members of the Tupac Amaru leftist rebel movement. 
  • 2004, Pat Tillman killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.  Pat Tillman, who gave up his pro football career to enlist in the U.S. Army after the terrorist attacks of September 11, is killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. The news that Tillman, age 27, was mistakenly gunned down by his fellow Rangers, rather than enemy forces, was initially covered up by the U.S. military.   

Resources:,,, various magazines

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