Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Jamaica's long history with tremors

Published:Thursday | January 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's recorded history is rife with incidences of felt earthquakes. The famous Port Royal earthquake of June 7, 1692 was perhaps our largest and most damaging natural disaster. Although it was felt islandwide, the most extensive loss of life occurred at Port Royal, where a portion of the town sank into the sea. At least 2,000 persons died as a result of an outbreak of yellow fever, which developed after the quake.

The Great Kingston Quake of 1907 occurred January 14 of that year. Of the 48,000 people living in Kingston at the time, more than 1,000 perished, mostly in the fires following the shocks (main and aftershocks). The aftershocks continued for the rest of the year. Some 9,000 people were left homeless throughout the island. Damage (building) for that event was estimated at £2 million.

The March 1, 1957 event affected mostly western Jamaica. The most damages were recorded in the parish of St James, especially for its infrastructure such as buildings, bridges and roads. This event resulted in three deaths and three associated fires.