By Jorge Reyes
"On November 1 1755, a terrible earthquake approaching magnitude 9 destroyed the city of Lisbon, in Portugal. It has since come to be known by historians as the Great Lisbon Earthquake. For ten long minutes, the inhabitants of this important and bourgeoning European city seemed as if it was being witness to the end of the world. Seeking refuge many citizens of Lisbon who were fleeing the fires, the smoldering burning choking heaps of smoke and had hoped to save themselves had taken refuge aboard ships docked in the city's port. Right after the fire, though, a tsunami of huge tidal waves followed taking them all down to the bottom of the sea without as much as a whimper.
"These turn of events didn't escape the attention of the superstitious, the catholic church. Right after the earthquake, pandemonium set in almost immediately. Who wouldn't? Thousands of corpses lined the streets of Lisbon, bloated and putrefying under the sun. Estimates of the death toll neared 100,000 people. The destruction caused by the fire still threatened many of the few remaining buildings, though they all posed great structural dangers and they were inhabitable, so the people camped out in the streets. The port had ceased to exist. There was no commerce to speak of. Society, it seemed, was reverting to a state of brutal desperation. No wonder that historians call this the most destructive earthquake in history..."
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