Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Day in History November 25, 1759

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It never ceases to me amaze me how many things happened on any given day in history, and in today's society, it is easier than ever to find information (and misinformation).  On this day in 1759, there was a  natural disaster that occurred that obliterated a good portion of Beirut and Damascus.  This earthquake was unlike what I have heard before because it came in two waves nearly a month apart.  I am used to hearing about aftershocks that occur within in hours and days.  But here's how this one went.

On October 30, 1759, the first (and lighter) of the quakes occurred.  Two thousand people died in Safed and other areas (this is in modern-day Israel area).  It registered about 6.6 on the Richter scale.  This was bad, but not as bad as what came later.

On November 25, 1759, the second and most devastating of the quakes came.  It was 7.4 on the Richter scale, and it lasted twice as long as the one less than a month before.  There were several aftershocks, and these continued even a month or two later.  It is estimated that the entire set of earthquakes could have claimed as much as 20,000 lives.  While we don't have all the best records of everything in this area, we do know that the damage in Damascus and Beirut was significant.

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