Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time Capsule: 1692

June 7, 1692: Today's the day when a 7.5 Magnitude earthquake struck Port Royal, Jamaica, the unofficial capital city and one of the busiest and wealthiest ports in the West Indies. It was known both as the "storehouse and treasury of the West Indies" and "one of the wickedest places on earth". The earthquake caused most of the city to sink below sea level and about 2,000 people died as a result of the earthquake and the following tsunami.

Two-thirds of the town slipped into the Caribbean Sea and Johnny Dixon reads that “whole streets of taverns, inns, and stores lay there under thirty feet of water” [The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost; 36-7].

Today, Port Royal is known to post-medieval archaeologists as the "City that Sank" and one of the more important underwater archaeological sites in the western hemisphere.

By the way, Damon Boudron, the "Scourge of the Spanish Main" was a blood-thirsty pirate who, according to Madam Lumiere, died the day of the earthquake by being swept to the bottom of the ocean. But he was no mere moral but rather a spirit from the dark regions known as Nyarlat-Hotep [98-9] that still stalks the world...and almost got his talons on Harrison Dixon, too.

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