Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Lisbon Earthquake

On the 1st of November 1755, a little after 9:20 AM, Lisbon, the capital of the Portuguese Empire, was shaken during nine whole minutes by one of the most violent earthquakes on record (8.7 magnitude on the Richter scale). Most of the city was destroyed either by the quake itself, by the great fire that followed it or by the tsunami that hit it shortly after. Between 60,000 and 100,000 people died.

This devastating event led to a number of important philosophical and theological discussions in Europe, but its effects in Portugal were truly devastating and can still be felt today, to some extent.

250 years later, the New York Times ran an editorial on the Lisbon Earthquake, Portugal's leading daily newspaper, Público, compiled an interesting dossier on it, and there's a new Portuguese blog dedicated to this theme.

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