Earthquake at Port Royal, Jamaica, 1692 - Contemporary Drawing

This image depicts extensive damage to Port Royal, Jamaica following a massive earthquake on June 7, 1692.   It is based on a copper etching which was published in London (likely in 1692).

Its caption is:

A true and perfect relation of that most sad and terrible earthquake, at Port Royal in Jamaica, which happened on Tuesday, the 7th of June, 1692.

Port Royal was built on an island just off the coast of Jamaica.  Although people didn’t know it, before the 1692 quake, much of the soil on the island was subject to liquefaction.  When the earth shook, the process of liquefaction caused homes and buildings to sink.

This image depicts many homes and buildings which were impacted by liquefaction.  Look, particularly, at the left foreground.

Never again was Port Royal the city it once was.  Instead of rebuilding Port Royal, people instead built Kingston which, to this day, remains the largest city in Jamaica.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy The Earthquake Engineering Online Archive at Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center at UC Berkeley.



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