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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/315

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309
THE PANAMA ROUTE FOR A SHIP CANAL.

Much has been written regarding the comparative liability to damage of canal works along these two routes by volcanic or seismic agencies. As is well known, the entire Central American Isthmus is a volcanic region, and in the past a considerable number of destructive volcanic eruptions have taken place at a number of points. There is a line of live volcanoes extending southeasterly through Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Many earthquake shocks have occurred throughout Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the State of Panama, some of which have done more or less damage in large portions of those districts. At the same time many buildings, which have been injured, have not been

PSM V61 D315 A street in panama city.png

Street in Panama.

substantially built. In fact that has generally been the case. Both routes lie in districts that are doubtless subject to earthquake shocks, but there is little probability that the substantial structures of a canal along either line would be essentially injured by them. The conclusions of the commission as to this feature of the matter are concisely stated in three paragraphs at the top of page 170 of its report:

It is possible and even probable that the more accurately fitting portions of the canal, such as the lock gates, may at times be distorted by earthquakes, and some inconvenience may result therefrom. That contingency may be classed with the accidental collision of ships with the gates, and is to be provided for in the same way, by duplicate gates.