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The Daily Volcano Quote: a narrow escape at Santorini 14 March 2012

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Dr. Schmidt happened, with his colleagues, to be on the summit of Nea Kameni when a fearful thundering eruption of stones and ashes began, which lasted from two to three minutes. Leaving their instruments behind them they fled to the N.W., seeking as far as they could to shelter themselves from the shower of red-hot stones. They were all more or less hurt and burnt. The steamer Aphroessa was struck heavily by a shower of stones; the deck was stove in, only one yard from the powder-magazine, and the engineer’s cabin was set on fire. At the mole lay a vessel, which was instantly set on fire by the stones and her captain killed on the spot by a falling block. Many of the sailors of the Aphroessa were hurt; but only one, a petty officer, seriously wounded. After the explosion the steamer changed her anchorage, and landed her powder for fear of further accidents.

‘Papers relating to the recent volcanic eruptions in Santorin’, Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, vol. 10, no. 3 (12 March 1866), pp. 119-20. Dr Johann Friedrich Julius Schmidt was Director of the Royal Observatory at Athens from 1858 to 1884, and had travelled with his colleagues on the Aphroessa to Santorini (called here ‘Santorin’) to observe and study the 1866 eruption.

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