SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lisbon earthquake. Coloured artwork of the damage caused in Lisbon, Portugal, by the large underwater earthquake of 1 November 1755. The epicentre of the earthquake was several hundred kilometres south-west of Lisbon. The resulting damage, fire and tsunami caused the near total destruction of the city, with an estimated 90,000 killed from a population of around 275,000. The death toll was increased by people rushing to the open space of the docks as buildings collapsed around them, only to be engulfed by the tsunami that followed. This earthquake inspired the scientific study of earthquakes, though many at the time attributed it to an act of God.
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