Our Collection

When the Earth Moves

Top of page

Living on planet Earth presents human imposed challenges such as transportation, industrialization, and socialization, as well as the natural obstacles of weather and geography. We often take security in the notion that at least the ground we stand on is ours to control. While tragedy plagues the surface of the earth, we often forget that this land can disguise terrors that lie beneath, waiting to burst through.

Kwanto Earthquake: On September 1, 1923, a catastrophic earthquake occurred off the eastern coast of the Kwanto Province in Japan. The tremors shook the ground violently for several minutes, causing numerous buildings to collapse, intense liquefaction along the waterfronts, and massive landslides in the nearby mountains. One enormous submarine landslide caused extraordinary changes in water depth and contributed to the great damage and loss of life on shore. Firestorms that followed the earthquake were responsible for about half of the 142,000 deaths as they ravaged the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama.

Managua, Nicaragua: At 12:27 am on December 23, 1972, three consecutive earthquakes struck the centre of downtown Managua. The first oscillated horizontally and the other two shook vertically, leveling 5 square miles of the city and damaging the rest. Of the 400,000 people living in Managua at the time, 250,000 were rendered homeless, 20,000 were killed and everyone in the city had to leave at least temporarily because there was no water, electricity or gas.

2002, 46 min 45 s

Top of page