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On Sunday morning, November 3, 2036, Planet Earth split into three pieces. The disaster was incited by the combination of a hydraulic fracturing operation in the Bakken Shale, an unexpected earthquake in the region, and geophysicists drilling into the core-mantle boundary on the seafloor of the Indian Ocean. The Earth’s mantle began to bubble up and spill onto the crust. The mantle began to spread from North Dakota to the rest of the continent. Ruptures in the core caused the planet to separate into three fragments later named Earth I (Europe, the former Soviet Republic, the Middle East, and South and East Asia), Earth II (North and Central America), and Earth III (Africa and South America).
Estimates for the total number of deaths caused by the Fragmentation vary from 750,000 to 2 million. While hundreds of oil field workers and surrounding residents died from the initial disaster, most perished over the course of the next ten months. In large urban centers, after a majority of the population was evacuated, violence and looting broke out resulting in many casualties. As the Earth's mantle spread, the leading causes of death were burn injuries and starvation.
Due to the high viscosity of the mantle, destruction came at a slow pace and millions in the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico were able to evacuate to other regions of Earth and the colonies on Mars.
Activist groups argue that many were denied access to evacuations and that the application procedure was highly corrupt and favored White, English-speaking, able-bodied individuals as well as whoever could afford to bribe Union Administration officials.
Decades of horizontal drilling all over the world had left the core soil vulnerable to exponential fracturing. Other factors include climate change and erosion caused by industrial farming.
1. "Disaster in North Dakota," The New York Times, November 3, 2056
2. "A Decades-Long Quest to Drill into the Earth's Mantle," Smithsonian Magazine, October, 2056
3. "Three Earths," BBC News, January 11, 2058
4. "Death and Destruction after the Fragmentation," The New York Times, September 14, 2057
5. "A Year After Baaken, the Consequences and Casualties," Time Magazine, November 3, 2057
6. "Crisis in America," Human Rights Watch, January 17, 2057
7. "Death Toll Reaches Tens of Thousands in America," CBC News, February 10, 2057
8. "Thousands Apply to Evacuate in Anticipation of More Destruction," US Today, January 3, 2057
9. "Accusations of Discrimination in Evacuation Applications," Democracy Now, March 19, 2057
10. "Core Vulnerability Review," The Geological Review, December 2056
11. "The Causes of the Core Crisis," Al Jazeera, January 11, 2057