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Hazards and history on the Western Australian coast

Christensen, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0075-0544 (2019) Hazards and history on the Western Australian coast. In: Mukherjee, R. and Seshan, R,, (eds.) Indian Ocean Histories: The Many Worlds of Michael Naylor Pearson. Routledge India, London, pp. 175-195.

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The ‘Pearling Fleet Disaster’ on the Western Australian coast in April 1887 is one of the most significant disasters in Australian colonial history. This chapter revisits the disaster and its legacy, focusing on its impact on Broome, the port settlement that developed rapidly after 1887 to become one of the world’s largest pearling ports. It argues for the cyclone’s lasting influence on the character and lifestyle of Broome’s maritime society and points to the role of natural hazards in shaping adaptations to the coastal environment across the Indian Ocean at large. By placing the disaster in this context, the chapter also addresses the question of Australia’s place in the history of the Indian Ocean.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge India
Copyright: © the contributor
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