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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

Sat 23. [23 January 1909] On deck soon after 8, very fine but a cold
wind. Etna splendid, smoking half across heaven, and the snow very
low on all the hills. We saw the effects of the earthquake as we
passed through the straight. The lamp of the big lighthouse all
twisted, ruins and tents[?] in the upper parts of Scilla. Pezo half ruined.
On the other side all the houses from the lighthouse more or less
damaged. Messina looked from a distance unchanged but one soon
saw that the greater part of it was nothing but a shell and when the
facade of the front row of houses was gone, a yawning gulf of ruins lay
revealed to the sea. At Reggio a railway line had fallen into the sea,
carriages in the water, the centre of the town a heap of ruins the sea
front just held up by long poles. Then suddenly all the ruins ceased
and we passed out into wind and a violent hailstorm.

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