The Great Lisbon Earthquake – Physical and Societal Effects
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake (‘terramoto’ in Portuguese), occurred in Portugal on Saturday, 1 November 1755, the holiday of All Saints Day at around 09:40 local time. The earthquake measured at least 8.5 on the Richter scale and together with the fires and a tsunami (‘maremoto’) that were caused, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and inflicted severe damage to the Algarve in Southern Portugal. The epicentre was in the Atlantic about 200 km (120 miles) southwest of Cape St. Vincent. It remains difficult to say how many died but probably around 50,000 with an unknown, but vast, number made homeless. 85% of Lisbon's buildings were destroyed.