Lisbon commemorates deadly quake





Portugal has marked 250 years since a devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of people. Church bells rang for 15 minutes as the country's capital, Lisbon, reflected on the 1755 quake that flattened the city. Up to one-third of Lisbon's 275,000 inhabitants died in the disaster, with thousands more dead in Morocco, Spain and even Italy.

Plans for elaborate commemorations were toned down after the Indian Ocean quake in 2004, which killed over 200,000.

Lisbon's Archbishop Jose Policarpo oversaw the pealing of the church bells, which rang out at 0930GMT, the estimated time that the earthquake struck in 1755.

As the bells tolled, the archbishop presided over a Catholic Mass in a ruined 14th century convent destroyed in the quake.

Geologists suspect that the 1755 reached a magnitude of 8.5 on the modern Richter scale.




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