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The earth is a source of much that sustains us. It provides soil to grow our food, trees to shade us and protect us from wind, and fossil fuels that provide energy for a host of activities. But the earth has also been the source of various disasters, such as mine explosions or cave-ins and rockslides or landslides, that have claimed lives, injured people and forever altered our landscape.
Accounts of such disasters show how much we are at the mercy of the elements that surround us. With each such event, there is a collective gasp at the damage and hardship wrought. There is also an effort made to learn how, if possible, to avoid such tragedies in the future.
Songs such as the "The Ballad of the Frank Slide", "Springhill Mine Explosion", "La complainte de Springhill" and "The Ballad of Springhill", and Duncan Anderson's poem, "Quebec's Burdens", about the rockslide in that city, have helped keep such disasters fresh in our collective memory.
Medals and commendations for bravery acknowledge the valiant efforts of rescuers. Books, articles and non-print media help document the events and scientific studies continue to monitor the earth around us.