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The Fireball Flood was a natural disaster that occurred during the Ninth Pass, when a cometary fragment impacted in the oceans above the Southern Continent.

History

The fragment that eventually impacted on Pern was spotted by many people all over the Northern Continent, and was described as a giant fireball. Some believed it to be a delayed part of the «Turnover Ghosts», a yearly meteor shower. At Landing, Wansor and his journeyman Erragon, along with several others, monitored the fireball by means of a computer link with the Yokohama. As the fireball got closer, it became apparent that it would impact on Pern. The computers were able to confirm that the Fireball impacted in the Eastern Ring Sea.

Though the observers were initially relieved that it impacted in the sea, instead of land, they quickly realized that the impact would cause massive tsunamis. Erragon and the retired Masterfishman Idarolan were able to predict which areas would be most affected and created maps designed to show the impact and areas of safety. A short emergency meeting of Lord Holders was held to inform them of the danger. Dragonriders then traveled to affected areas and start a massive evacuation, using their dragons' ability to travel between time. However, the fact that the dragonriders timed their rescues was kept secret from the population.

Aftermath

In the aftermath, most coastal areas flooded, providing the flood portion of the disaster's name. The most heavily damaged area was Monaco Bay Weyr, which was hit by a total of five tsunamis. Inland holds and crafts sent aid to those who suffered. Abominators made an attempt to blame the disaster on AIVAS, but the spread of printed news allowed for the truth to be quickly propagated. In the end, many believed that AIVAS had prevented more serious destruction by giving early warnings. For his extensive efforts during the disaster, Erragon was promoted to Master in the Starcraft.

It quickly became apparent that most Pernese considered the dragonriders to be responsible for preventing more disasters. During a discussion on how to respond to the demands, it was noted that the Fireball had been visible on the computers of the Yokohama for several months. As a result, the dragonriders proposed to form their own craft, where they would monitor incoming threats and make efforts to divert them. Dragonriders would man a massive Sky Watch, with the goal of identifying potential threats. Three observatories, in addition to ones at Cove Hold and Honshu, were planned in Telgar, Ruatha, and the Western Continent, which were to assist in the search. Initially, the dragonriders had no idea how they would prevent Fireballs from impacting. However, the discovery that dragons could use telekinesis led some, such as Lessa and F'lessan, to theorize that dragons could use the ability to deflect future hazards.

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