Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Monday, December 03, 2012
12/03/12 at 2:34 AM
1990 - Quake prediction
A circus atmosphere had taken over the little town of New Madrid, Mo., a preacher shouted into loudspeakers "The end is near!" and school was dismissed in parts of five states because of a prediction that a killer earthquake would hit the region within a day or two of Dec. 3. Reporters and photographers who flocked to New Madrid, the predicted epicenter, found people were buying earthquake insurance, batteries, flashlights, kerosene and charcoal. The prediction of a 50 percent probability of a magnitude 6.5 to 7.5 came from New Mexico scientist Iben Browning but other scientists challenged the prediction, saying there is no reliable way of predicting earthquakes that precisely. The prediction was wrong.
1992 - Tanker spills oil
The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 23.8 million gallons of crude oil, ran aground in a storm while approaching La Coruña, Spain, and spilled at least 21.5 million gallons of its cargo, about twice the amount spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. However, much of the oil burned in a fire that started about five hours after the ship ran aground and continued for 24 hours. All 29 crew members were rescued. A 1 1/2-mile-wide oil slick stretched for about 12 miles. The tanker was headed to a refinery in La Coruña when it ran aground about 5 a.m.
1997 - IMF lends Korea $55B
South Korea received a $55 billion loan - the fund's largest bailout - from the International Monetary Fund to shore up its economy. The IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank agreed to provide a three-year, standby credit of $35 billion. If that was not enough, the United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, France and at least one other country promised to pitch in another $20 billion. The total package exceeded by $7 billion the largest bailout made by the IMF - a $48 billion loan to Mexico in 1995.
1999 - Woman rows across Atlantic Ocean
Louisville attorney Tori Murden docked her boat, the American Pearl, at the French Caribbean island of Fort-du-Bas, Guadeloupe, after rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, the first American and the first woman for such a solo feat. Friends swam out to welcome Murden, 36, as she neared the dock after her trip of 81 days, seven hours and 31 minutes from the Canary Islands near the coast of Africa. "Next time, the Concorde," Murden quipped.
Television trucks are parked in New Madrid, Mo., in anticipation of a predicted earthquake that didn't happen. Associated Press file