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and now nothing but vast heaps of rubbish; and, which is strange, a church belonging to a Benedictine nunnery, yet intire, are to be seen, where Sciorti once stood. We know of none of the inhabitants that have saved themselves from this calamity, and they are reckoned to amount to two thousand souls.
The same fate befel Militello, no inconsiderable town, whereof the inhabitants were esteemed pretty rich, by the means of one of the most considerable manufacturies of silk that was in Sicily. It is probable this place was destroyed before the shake of the eleventh; for the country people, who dwell on the neighbouring ridge of mountains, do affirm, that it was not to be seen upon the eleventh in the morning : but at what precise time it was swallowed up, they cannot tell, seeing, for three days before, they could not see so far as Militello, by reason of a thick fog, which continued from twelve of the clock of the eighth day, till the morning of the eleventh. It is scarce to be imagined what a surprising change this place has undergone: for a considerable part of the mountain, that lay on the northside of the town, has been, through the violence of the earthquake, torn asunder, and the one half has overwhelmed the town: there being a vast chasm now to be seen betwixt it, and the other part of the mountain that remained still in its first posture. Militello might probably contain about six thousand peo ple, whereof no one is left to give tidings how its calamity came about. I
Luochela had not altogether so bad a fate as the former. This place felt the shake of the ninth very severely, insomuch that a great part of the houses fell by it. The inhabitants over and above this, and some former shakes, had another prognostiek of the ruin that was coming on the place, which influenced a considerable number of them to leave the town upon the ninth at night. There was an old castle, which stood upon a rising ground, about two miles from Luochela, said to have been built by the Romans in the time of the Ponick war. This castle was, in the view of the people of Luochela, swallowed up in a moment, and no remaining vestige was to be seen where it stood ; but, instead thereof, there gushed up a prodigious quantity of waters, which, in a few hours, made up a very considerable lake where the castle had stoud. So that it is to the affrightful view of this castle's being overturned, that more than the half of the people of the town owe their safety, as having fled the town upon sight thereof. The rest of the town and ipha bitants were utterly destroyed on the eleventh; and now there remains nothing but vast heaps of rubbish where the town formerly stood. Luochela might probably contain two thousand people whereof near the half are destroyed.
Palonja, a very pretty little town, very well built, and endowed with one of the beautifulest churches in the whole island, felt se veral shakes, of which those of the ninth and eleventh were the most terrible. The church was shattered in a thousand places; and the dome was on the eleventh thrown down, which broke the high altar to pieces, and crushed te death some three: bundred peo
ple, with the priest that was saying mass. There was little other damage done in Palonia ; most of the people having betaken themselves to the fields, upon the accident that befel the dome of the church : so that the loss has not been so great, neither in the fall of houses, nor death of people, in Palonia, as it was in most other towns about it.
Buchino, a considerable village, escaped very near as well as the town of Palonia, most of the houses being thrown down ; but searce any of the people killed, though some much bruised.
Scodia, a burgh, about the bigness of the other, was greatly shaken on the eleventh, and about one hundred and fifty people killed by the fall of the church in the time of mass. Within a mile of this village, there was a lake about two miles about, and very deep. The shake of the ninth was seen clearly to occasion the lessening of the water of the lake, so that it was dry for some paces round the banks. Put so strange was the effect of the shake of the eleventh upon this Jake, that near the midst of it, there opened a large chasın, which swallowed up all the water, and left the whole channet dry land, which continues so.
Another village, called Chivramonte, had yet a worse fate. The shake of the ninth shattered the houses; but that of the eleventh overturned them altogether, and buried the inhabitants in their ruins, which were compated to be between three and four hundred.
Monterusso was considerably shaken, both on the eleventh and ninth; but the only loss of the people was of about two hundred that fled into the castle, standing upon an eminence for shelter, who were, with the castle itself, buried in the ground, and the place where it stood is now a poot of water of a brinish taste.
The beautiful town of Vizzini underwent a fortune like that of Catanea. Scarce any place seemed more secure from such accidents tban it; for it lay on a rising hill, made up of nothing but hardest stones, of the nature of marble; yet, on the ninth, and some days before, it felt several shakes, which did no great damage, by reason of the buildings being all of stone. However, the inhabitants began to fear the worst, and most of the people of quality and fashion went ont of town, and settled themselves in tents upon the hill above the town; but, thiuking the hazard was over, as find. ing no skakes all the tenth, they returned home on the eleventh in the morning, and within some hours thereafter, they and the town were swallowed up. The inhabitants were reckoned to amount to three thogoand five hundred souls.
The large village of Modica, containing about one-thousand fourhundred people, was so suddenly swallowed up on the ninth, that to orbe person escaped; and it was indeed the only place of the wbote island, that received not its full tuin by the shake of the ele venth. This was not be first time that Modica has been laid in heaps by earthquakes ; for within these hundred years, it has twice changed its seat; though, till now, the people were all so happy as to save themselves, and to seek for new seats
Within two miles of this place, there runs small river along a very narrow and fruitful valley, which in some places admits of high cataracts, through the great inequality of the channel, By the shake of the eleventh, there is a bill thrown over, or rather athwart one of these cataracts, for about twenty paces breadth, so that in that place, the river is not to be seen, but creeps under the bill, and comes out again in its own ordinary channel below. The same accident has happened to several rivulets in Sicily; the earth being torn from the brink, and thrown over the rivulet, as it were, in form of a vault, or natural bridge.
The village Bisenti felt all the shakes that happened, but received no other damage than the fall of some of the houses, and the bruising to death of about a hundred persons.
Francofonte, a very pretty town, and well inhabited, but built most of timber, received little damage by the earthquake, though it shook down some houses; but what the earthquake did not, the lightning and thunder did: for never was there seen šo terrible a storm of both these last, than Francofonte felt for three days together. The spire of the steeple, which was built of wood, and covered with lead, was burnt down, and the nunnery of the Carmelites was almost utterly destroyed, and that so suddenly, that five of the nuns were stifled to death in their beds. If the wind had been high, as it was not, certainly the whole town had been burnt to ashes; but by reason of the calmness of the wind, and the care of. the inhabitants, there were not above twelve or fourteen houses burnt.
Carlontini, a town of good trade, and very well inbabited, was greatly shaken on the ninth, several houses being thrown down, and the people buried in their ruins. On the tenth, the bishop and magistrates exhorted the inhabitants to remove out of the town to the fields, for even then were some small tremblings of the earth felt almost every half hour. The people began to get out of town on the tenth, about four o'clock in the afternoon, and most were goue with the best things they could carry with them; when the shake of the eleventh overturned the whole town in a moment, with what remained of the inhabitants. The place might contain about four thousand people, and, it is thought, about a sixth part have perished in the earthquake.
There scarce can be found in any part of the world a more beautiful town than Ragusa: its situation, buildings, churches, monasteries, and territories about it, combine to make it a sort of tera restrial paradise. It felt a great many small shakings on the eighth, with a mighty tempest of lightning and thunder. The shake of the ninth did some, but no great hurt; but that of the eleventh overturned the town-house, a very superb edifice, two churches, and a great many houses. One street, the biggest of the town, and inhabited by the best merchants and tradesmen of the place, was overwhelmed in less than the second of a minute, the earth sinking down, and leaving a vast chasm where the street was. One of the churches sunk after the manner the street had done, but the other:
fell down. It is not yet known how many people perished in Ragusa; but the least calculation that has been made of them, amounts to eight thousand souls, of whom the citizens of the best quality make up a great part of the number. There are to be seen from the brink of the chasm I mentioned, the tops of some of the houses, a great way below the superfice of the ground; and out of this cavily there comes a sulphureous smell, like to choak any body that comes near it. One of the churches that are ruined was that of Sancta Barbara, famous through all Sicily, for the miracles done at the shrine of that saint, and in which was some of the best sculpture, especially that of the altar-piece, that could be seen in any place of the christian world,
The town of Scodia felt the shakes of the ninth and eleventh, as fiercely as any. . Yet, which was strange, the town itself received no damage ; but the bishop's palace, a very beautiful and new building, was overturned on the ninth, and about twenty-four persons perished in its ruins. The bishop had not gone out but an hour before, having beld'a meeting of his diocese in the chapel of his palace in the morning, so that he and they were all saved.
Specafurno, a town of a considerable bigness, lying on the south side of a hill, all planted with vineyards, and very well inhabited, fell under the common calamity. The shake of the ninth did it but little hurt, only the convent of the Capuchins was destroyed; but all the tenth, from morning till night, there never was heard so violent a storm of thunder and lightning, as if heaven and earth had been mixing together. By the lightning, the town-house, a very regular building, was burnt down to the ground, with several other houses. Some few of the inhabitants fed out of the town on the tenth at night, and so escaped the destruction that befel the rest upon the eleventh. That shake brought over the whole town in a moment's time; and there now remains nothing but vast heaps of rubbish where Specafurno stood. To the south side of the town, about a mile, there lies a very pleasant fresh water lake, abounding with fish, which now is almost all dry land ; only what water remains in one end of it, is of a brinish taste, and of a black colour, the fish being all dead on the shore. It is remarked by the peasants that live on the hills about this town, that the thunder and lightning which happened on the tenth, has so far burnt all the vines, that they expect no grapes to grow on them next year: not only so, but they smell a sort of sulphureous smell, and feel a kind of a bituminous dew upon the ground all thereabout. The people that perished in Specafurno, are computed to amount to three thousand five hundred at least, there being about three hundred only that saved themselves by a timely flight the day before.
Sicily could not brag of a better built town, and a place of better trade, considering its distance from the sea, than the town of Scichilo was. This place seemed to be designed by nature to fall by an earthquake, for within these fifty years, it has been in hazard eight times. Five years ago it had a very considerable shake, which damaged several of the houses, and overturned a
church dedicated to St. Roch. But all this was nothing to what befel it in this last earthquake. The trembling of the earth began to be felt on the eighth at night, and within twenty-four hours time, there succeeded above twenty shakes one after another, the last still exceeding the first in violence. At last, the shake of the eleventh, instead of overturning the town, as in most other places, the earth here sunk down, and in less than two moments, the town vanished out of sight. In its room, there is now a stinking pool of water, where the dome of the church of St. Stephen, with a part of the steeple of St. Salvator, stands above the water. It is thought there was no one saved of all the inhabitants of this pleasant town; and they were calculated to be about the number of six or seven thousand souls.
There stood a very strong castle, built after the Gothick fashion, on the east side of the town, belonging to the family of Cantelmi; it is now all in heaps, and about thirty people buried alive in them.
Cefamero, a village, containing about two hundred houses, and reated on a rising ground, was much shaken on the eighth, ninth, and tenth; but the shake of the eleventh overturned the church, whither most of the people had fled for sbelter, and to implore the aid of St. Catharine of Sienna, whose chapel there was held in the greatest reverence; they were all crushed to death with the fall of the roof, being of lead, and little other damage done in the village itself. It is thought there were near two hundred people perished in the church, and about twenty in the village.
Sainto Croce, another village, something bigger than Cefamero, was as ill shaken as the other, though there were not so many people killed. The church here stands intire, and only the houses that were made of timber have suffered, and, in them, near a hundred of the inhabitants, the rest having fled to the fields without the town.
The little town of Giamontano was greatly shaken on the eleventh, that whole quarter, that lay nearest the river, being quite overturned, and all the people killed; the rest of the town escaped, only a small hospital, near the south gate, was sunk into the ground, with the people in it, which might amount to forty. Those that perished in the quarter nearest the river, were about three hundred and fifty souls.
The tower of Licodia underwent very near the same fate. All the houses of timber were overwhelmed by the shake of the eleventh, and in them about three hundred of the inhabitants. The houses of stone stand yet, though much shattered, and the dome of the church was burnt down by lightning the day before. There is one thing more remarkable fallen out near this town: about a mile and a half from it, there is a pretty high steep hill, famous for pine trees of a vast biguess, that grow upon it: the lightning and thunder has burnt down and scorched most of those trees, and on the top of the bill there is a vulcano opened, out of which there ascends constantly a very thick smoke, which is the more strange, in that there was no such thing heard of in that part of Sicily before.