This Day In Jamaican History

On this day in Jamaican history: Port Royal earthquake

Port Royal Jamaica

On this day in Jamaican history: On June 7, 1692, a devastating earthquake hit Port Royal causing most of its northern section to fall into the sea. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami. The combined disasters killed approximately 3000 people. Port Royal had a population of around 6,500 people before the earthquake.

Port Royal Earthquake 7 June 1692 Report

Port Royal Earthquake 7 June 1692 Report

Port Royal provided a safe harbour initially for privateers and subsequently for pirates plying the shipping lanes to and from Spain and Panama. Buccaneers found Port Royal appealing for several reasons. Its proximity to trade routes allowed them easy access to prey, but the most important advantage was the port’s proximity to several of the only safe passages or straits giving access to the Spanish Main from the Atlantic. The harbour was large enough to accommodate their ships and provided a place to careen and repair these vessels. It was also ideally situated for launching raids on Spanish settlements. From Port Royal, Christopher Myngs sacked Campeche and Henry Morgan attacked Panama, Portobello, and Maracaibo. Additionally, buccaneers Roche Brasiliano, John Davis and Edward Mansvelt used Port Royal as a base of operations.

Here is an old map of Port Royal pre-earthquake

Old Map of Port Royal Jamaica

Old Map of Port Royal, Jamaica – Source Wikipedia

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