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Back in May of 1969 a national magazine told the story of Port Royal, Jamaica…. “Cities have been smothered with volcanic ash, leveled by hurricanes, shaken apart by earthquakes. But no disaster quite matches the one that struck Port Royal, Jamaica, at 11:43 a.m., on June 7, 1692. In the space of less then 10 minutes, the thriving pirate port, reputedly the wickedest city on earth, sank convulsively into the Caribbean.

An eyewitness described the scene: "The earth heaved and swelled like the rolling billows, and in many places the earth crack’d open - open’d and shut - with a motion quick and fast. In some of these people were swallowed up, in others they were caught by the middle, and pressed to death. The whole was attended with the noise of falling mountains at a distance, while the sky was turned dull and reddish, like a glowing oven."

Upward of 2000 people perished in the chaos. Even today, many Jamaicans believe that Port Royal’s destruction was the price exacted by an angry God for its sins.

SOURCE: Jeff Strite Citation: Readers' Digest May, 1969 p.192ff

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