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Hell's Crust

Program 1: HELL'S CRUST

Premiere: Sunday, July 19, 1998 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS.
 (Watch for repeat showings on your local PBS station.)

The Earth is not solid. The planetary crust is shattered like an eggshell into a dozen massive fragments, each one supporting entire land masses and oceans, floating above a white-hot core of rock and metal. Along the fracture lines, volcanoes erupt and earthquakes suddenly spasm, continually reforming the global landscape.

These violent events are minor chapters in Earth's five-billion-year-old geologic history. But for the people perched so vulnerably on the surface, they can be cataclysms. With riveting first-person testimony and camera footage, HELL'S CRUST introduces the awesome forces that tear at our planet's surface and the harrowing stories of those who have encountered their fury.

Link to QuickTime movie

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Kilauea erupts (1.7 MB].

Among those interviewed are Venus Dergan and Roald Reitan, who were caught in the midst of one of the century's most destructive natural disasters -- the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Although they were 30 miles from the mountain, the two campers were swept away in a 100-mile-per-hour mud flow and nearly crushed by uprooted trees and logs from devastated logging camps. Even those in the sky are not safe, as viewers learn when the program looks at how the Indonesian volcano Galunggung sent a plume of ash into the atmosphere in 1982, nearly downing a jetliner full of passengers, who describe how the ash-choked engines failed and sent them plummeting toward the ground. But the human spirit is indomitable: Others, in Iceland and Hawaii, tell how they fought lava attacking their homes, and won.

Overview  |  Program 1: Hell's Crust  |  Program 2: The Restless Planet
Program 3: Out of the Inferno  |  Program 4: Waves of Destruction

About the Series | TV Schedule | Video Ordering Information


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