Jamaica’s history with tsunamis

Following the massive earthquake that rocked Jamaica and several other Caribbean island’s on Tuesday (Jan. 28), the threat of a tsunami was raised.

With that in mind, BUZZ looks back at Jamaica’s relationship with this water-based disaster and how it has impacted the island’s history.

Port Royal 1692

The first of two tsunamis ever recorded was in 1692 when Port Royal, the largest town in the Caribbean, was virtually destroyed by a massive earthquake. Waves reached heights of 1.8 metres with a withdrawal of 274 metres, according to the Earthquake Unit at the University of the West Indies – Mona.

Port Royal 1907

The other time that Jamaica is said to have faced the ravages of a tsunami was over three centuries later when waves over 2.5 metres were seen in Kingston. 1.8 – 2.4-metre waves were also recorded along the north coast.

The tsunamis had followed on several major earthquakes that displaced land in Port Royal and other areas. 

While there are no reports of death resulting from the tsunamis, 2000 persons died following the massive earthquake in 1692 and another 1000 following the earthquake in 1907.