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Title: The East Mediterranean Earthquake of 551
Authors: O’Sullivan, Shaun
Keywords: East Mediterranean
Earthquake of 551
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: University of Balamand
Part of: Hawliyat
Issue: 4
Start page: 93
End page: 113
In the year 551, a great earthquake and tidal wave devastated the coast of Lebanon. This event, terrifying and unforgettable to those who witnessed and suffered it, has not yet completely ceased to reverberate. Earthquakes are a common accurence in Lebanon; destructive earthquakes have occurred on average about once a century since the time of Christ; the most recent took place in 1956. Yet unlike these others, the earthquake of 551 is established as an event sufficiently important to be, for example, mentioned in popular histories. It has also survived in a vague but widespread memory of the giant tidal wave that followed the tremor and devastated a large stretch of coastline. That it should have become embedded, in a quasi-mythical fashion, in local tradition – this in itself makes the earthquake a subject of interest and suggests that there must have been something uncommon about it.
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Hawliyat

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