Sunrise City, AK Snow Avalanche, Apr 1901
ALASKAN AVALANCHE CRUSHES OUT LIVES.
DEATH AND DESOLATION AT SUNRISE CITY THE RESULT OF A SNOWSLIDE THAT WRECKED THE HOMES OF THE UNFORTUNATE GOLD HUNTERS.
Special Dispatch to The Call.
Port Townsend, Wash., April 28. -- Death and desolation at Sunrise City, Alaska, caused by a snowslide, is the report brought from the north by the Steamship Senator, arriving today. Details are meager, but it is known that twenty, if not more, lives were lost.
The disaster occurred April 12 early in the morning and a number of houses at the base of the mountain were crushed and ground into splinters by an immense mass of snow and ice. Many more lives would have been lost had it not been for the fact that just previous to the slide the people were aroused by several shocks of earthquake, which were so severe that many of the occupants of the destroyed houses were prepared. When they heard the roaring and rumbling of the avalanche as it came crashing down the mountain they fled for their lives and many reached places of safety. Those who escaped the avalanche are practically destitute, having no food, clothing or shelter.
News of the disaster reached Valdez by a mail carrier who left Sunrise City shortly after the occurrence and reached Valdez just before the mail steamer sailed from that place for Juneau. The names of the victims had not been learned. Rescuing parties from the main portion of the town were at work when the mail carrier left, but were making little or no progress, as the ground on which the buildings stood was covered with from twenty to sixty feet of snow, ice, rocks and timbers which came down with the slide. It will be some days before the exact number and names of the dead can be ascertained, as the occupants of the houses were constantly going to or coming from some reported strike.
The ruined portion of Sunrise City is situated on a flat at the base of the mountain, but in a place where no fears of a slide were entertained. The unusually heavy snowfall and the earthquake shock is thought to have been responsible for the disaster.
San Francisco Call California 1901-04-29