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Tuesday, October 9, 2007:
The Next GReat Earthquake: When it Strikes, Will You Be Ready? at 4pm in Plowden Auditorium

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The August 2007 earthquake centered in Rutherfordton, NC reminded us of the seismic activity in North and South Carolina. While the last "Big One" goes back to 1886, area geologists agree that "The Next Big One" is a matter of "when" rather than "if". Even Winthrop's disaster plan mentions earthquakes among regional possibilities.

Author Richard Côté's presentation described South Carolina's history of earthquakes and promote disaster readiness. His recent bestseller "City of heroes" describes the 1886 earthquake in Charleston and its far-reaching impact on geology, disaster preparedness, and historical research, as well as increased study of seismic activity in South Carolina.

Mr. Côté discussed When the Earthquake Returns to South Carolina, a program about Charleston’s 1886 earthquake, what South Carolina learned from it and how its residents can prepare to survive the “Next Big One.” Forget Hugo. For its size, and in its time, the earthquake of 1886 is easily the most destructive force ever to hit the Lowcountry. “August 31st, up until that evening, was probably the single most boring day in the history of South Carolina,” said Côté.

City of Heroes: The Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886, by Richard N. Côté, is a riveting, action-packed, heavily illustrated non-fiction book filled with gripping, first-hand accounts of the earthquake, drawn directly from newspapers, personal diaries, journals, and letters of the earthquake survivors. It also follows the earthquake scientists who descended upon Charleston to discover what caused the disaster. But above all, it identifies the noble and heartwarming acts of numerous unsung heroes, black and white, inspired and led by Charleston's extraordinary mayor, William A. Courtenay. Working together, they saved numerous lives, nursed the wounded, fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless and enabled Charleston to make a full recovery from the massive disaster in only fourteen months. (A general synopsis found on several book sellers Web sites)

Richard N. Côté, a Connecticut native and Vietnam War veteran, studied political science and journalism at Butler University. After serving on the staff of the South Carolina Historical Society, he turned to writing about the nineteenth-century South. In 2004 he was awarded the Bobby Gilmer Moss Award in History by the Daughters of the American Revolution for his outstanding contributions to historical writing. He lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, where he writes, lectures, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Corinthian Books.



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