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Story Highlights

  • Victims of the 1692 earthquake in Port Royal will be remembered at the annual Earthquake Awareness Day on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
  • This year marks the 325th anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal when a large portion of the town sank into the sea and about 2,000 people died as a result of the tremor.
  • Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Acting Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, said members of the public will learn about the devastating earthquake that destroyed Port Royal and how to prepare for natural disasters, in particular earthquakes.

Victims of the 1692 earthquake in Port Royal will be remembered at the annual Earthquake Awareness Day on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

This year marks the 325th anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal when a large portion of the town sank into the sea and about 2,000 people died as a result of the tremor.

Scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. at Fort Charles in Port Royal, the event is being organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) under the theme ‘Remembering the Past; Port Royal Earthquake 325 Years Later’.

Activities will include a presentation on the history of Port Royal; a mini cinema showing a documentary of Port Royal; and a tour of the museum, the Fort and St. Peter’s Church. Entry fee is $100 for students and $200 for teachers and adults.

Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Acting Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, said members of the public will learn about the devastating earthquake that destroyed Port Royal and how to prepare for natural disasters, in particular earthquakes.

He said that people will also view artefacts that were recovered from underwater excavations at Port Royal.

“There are even thousands more still there, because a lot of the work that was done underwater is just one per cent. We have 13 acres sitting under water and just one per cent of that has been researched,” he noted.

Mr. Gray said that during the tour, people “will get a feel of what is really left” and how the artefacts are recovered and identified.

“The archaeologists are trying to arrange some digs where we try and show the students what we do within the Trust and how we recover some of these materials and how we are able to identify them,” he added.

The day will also feature exhibitions from the Institute of Jamaica, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Caribbean Maritime Institute, Port Authority of Jamaica, and the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.