National Geographic : 1902 Dec
GEOGRAPHIC NOTES SVERDRUP'S WORK IN THE ARCTICS, 1898-1902 THE map on the opposite page shows the routes followed and coastline explored by Captain Sverdrup in his four years of Arctic work. In the November number of the Geografphical JournalSir Clements R. Markham, Pres ident of the Royal Geographical Society, has summarized the work of Sverdrup and his gallant companions as follows: ''They have discovered the western side of Ellesmere Island and its in tricate system of fiords, as well as three large islands west of Ellesmere Island; they have explored the northern coast of North Devon; they have connected Belcher's work with the coasts of Jones Sound; they have reached a point within 60 miles of Aldrich's furthest; and they have discovered that land north of the Parry Islands, the existence of which was conjectured, as far west as the longitude of the eastern coast of Melville Island. This includes the dis covery of the northern sides of North Cornwall and Findlay Island. In ad dition to the main Arctic problem which is thus solved, it is likely that the region discovered will be of excep tional interest, from the winds and cur rents, the varying character of the ice, the existence of coal beds, and the abundance of animal life. A system atic survey has been made of these im portant discoveries, checked by astro nomical observations. We must look forward to an account of these things, and to the details of the expedition, with the deepest interest; and mean while we may well express admiration for the way in which the work was conceived and executed, and at the perfect harmony with which all loyally worked under their chief. Without such harmonious work success was not possible."' VOLCANIC DISTURBANCES IN GUATEMALA EPORTS from Guatemala tell of devastation and death by the re cent eruptions of Santa Maria as hor rible as the tragedies of St Pierre and St Vincent. Santa Maria is a volcano in western Guatemala, about 50 miles from the Pacific coast. It began to erupt October 25 and continued more or less active until November 9. " The country for a radius of over 30 miles has been made a desolate waste, and every vestige of life destroyed. The loss of life is estimated at over 7,000, the great majority of the victims being Indians. Ten Indian villages, each with a population of from 50 to 5,000 inhab itants, were wiped out, the rude huts being buried beneath tons of volcanic debris. All of the coffee plantations in the volcanic zone are ruined, and their owners left penniless. The greatest dis tress prevails throughout the central and western portions of the republic, and even on the eastern coast the effects are felt in the scarcity of money and the rise in exchange. "A famine prevails at Quezaltenango, and 1o,ooo people are starving. Even in Guatemala City, the capital, the in habitants are suffering for food. The government is utterly unable to relieve the distress and suffering, and the peo ple are on the verge of revolution. The only thing needed to start a formidable uprising is the appearance of a leader." Porfirio Herrera, who owned a valu able coffee plantation seven miles from the volcano, gives the following account of the eruption : " The eruption ceased on the morn ing of November 9, when I ventured to my plantation and found it buried be neath ten feet of ashes, mud, and sand hurled from the volcano. Everything on the place was in ruins.