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Communities Under Siege

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For the coal miner who excavates the earth and the fisherman who harvests the sea, life and livelihood are dependent on the kindness of nature. When disaster strikes, it is not just human life that is at risk, but the way of life of entire communities.

The 1958 Springhill Mine Disaster: By the late 1950s the Nova Scotia town of Springhill was no stranger to the hazards of mines. On October 23rd, 1958 a "bump" rocked the #2 mine at the Cumberland Pit. Those at home were just finishing up dinner or settling down in front of the TV when they felt the earth shake. The bump buried 174 men 13,000 feet underground. Off-duty miners raced to the site to help dig out their colleagues and worked for days without sleep until the last man had been brought to the surface. In the end, 75 men died in the accident. As a result of the disasters and continuing hazards, the mine was finally closed in 1971.

The Grand Banks Tsunami: On November 18, 1929 a submarine earthquake off the Grand Banks triggered a huge tsunami. Unaware of the danger coming from the sea, the residents of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula were struck by an enormous wave hours after the earthquake. Scores of homes, businesses, wharves, and fishing boats were smashed or swept away. 28 people died, but the wave's destruction affected thousands of lives.

2002, 46 min 45 s

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