approximately 9.40am on Sunday 1st November 1755 a 'megathrust'
earthquake rocked Portugal. The earthquake, which modern
day Seismologists have estimated measured around 8 on
the Richter Scale, devastated the country, left hundreds
of thousands dead and many more homeless and destitute.
earthquake occurred when the vast majority of the
populous were attending services for All Saints' Day at
churches up and down the country, trapped in large
edifices which crumbled under the immense vibrations.
earthquake, according to reports from survivors, lasted
between three and five minutes is believed to have had
it's epicentre between 200-390 kilometres south west of
mainland Portugal's most south westerly point at Cabo
the disaster, which was followed by an equally
devastating Tsunami, is named the Lisbon Earthquake, the
devastation was not limited to the country's capital.
The effects of the earthquake were felt as far away as
Finland and Greenland.
in Portugal the earthquake and following Tsunami, which
hit land less than an hour later, razed many Algarvian
towns and villages to the ground. Buildings in the
central Portugal mountain town of Covilhã were also
reduced to rubble due to the prolonged natural event.
Following the national disaster the country's prime
minister, the Marquis de Pombal (Sebastiao Jose de
Carvalho e Melo), effected radical change to the design
and construction of towns and villages throughout the
country. Under his instructions as much information as
possible was gathered to learn more about the effects of