earthquake

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See: cataclysm
References in classic literature ?
Had they left their comrade and pushed on forthwith, there was nothing at that time between them and London but batteries of twelve-pounder guns, and they would certainly have reached the capital in advance of the tidings of their approach; as sudden, dreadful, and destructive their advent would have been as the earthquake that destroyed Lisbon a century ago.
The morning service was over, I was walking through the roads to clear my brain for the afternoon, and then--fire, earthquake, death
I had no sooner stepped do ground, than I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three times at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a rock which stood about half a mile from me next the sea fell down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life.
These lonely channels would frequently reverberate with the falls of ice, and so often would great waves rush along their coasts; numerous icebergs, some as tall as cathedrals, and occasionally loaded with "no inconsiderable blocks of rock," would be stranded on the outlying islets; at intervals violent earthquakes would shoot prodigious masses of ice into the waters below.
Meanwhile earth-encircling Neptune lord of the earthquake cheered on the Argives, for he had come up out of the sea and had assumed the form and voice of Calchas.
As he spoke the earth-encircling lord of the earthquake struck both of them with his sceptre and filled their hearts with daring.
Tears began falling from their eyes as they beheld them, for they made sure that they should not escape destruction; but the lord of the earthquake passed lightly about among them and urged their battalions to the front.
To this Neptune lord of the earthquake made answer, "Idomeneus, may he never return from Troy, but remain here for dogs to batten upon, who is this day wilfully slack in fighting.
I live on top of the earth, your honor, which is far better than living inside it; but yesterday I went up in a balloon, and when I came down I fell into a big crack in the earth, caused by an earthquake.
The plaster, discolored by the steam of many wash-days, was crisscrossed with cracks from the big earthquake of the previous spring.
It was a small room, eight by twelve, and the earthquake had left its marks upon the plaster.
It remains calm till it is fed and earthquakes are avoided.