The Great Lisbon Earthquake


Population of lisbon in seventeen fifty five was approximately two hundred and seventy five to three hundred thousand people. Lisbon was the capital of the portuguese empire which held territory in europe south africa africa asia and many smaller islands in between this made lisbon one of the most important cities in the world at the time at nine thirty a. m. as people were going to or attending church. The first tremor struck they were loud and noticeable but they didn't cause much in the way of destruction the console from the city of hamburg. Germany later reported quote. We i heard a rumble like the noise of a carriage and it became louder and louder until it was as loud as the loudest noise of a gun immediately after that we felt the i tremble unquote based on what happened. Modern estimates are that there was a slip in the azores gibraltar transform. Fault this fault line that runs. Approximately from the strait of gibraltar. to the a'sore islands. One tectonic plate was thrust over another and the movement of land might have been as much as one cluster. The epicenter of the earthquake was believed to have been just off the southwestern most point of portugal near cape saint vincent at nine forty a m. The main earthquake hit church bells ringing all over the city and just as quickly buildings began to collapse. The churches which were full of people were the largest source of casualties for a period of ten minutes. There were three major quakes that shook the city to its foundations. It's estimated that the earthquake measured eight point four on the richter scale just to give you an idea of how much the ground moved in the middle of lisbon city center. There were fissures in the ground. Five meters or sixteen feet wide. The earthquake was the first of the three

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