In fulfillment of this prophecy "the largest known earthquake," occurred
on November 1, 1755. Known as the Lisbon earthquake, its effects were
observed in Europe, Africa, and America, covering an area of about four
million square miles. Its destruction centered on Lisbon, Portugal, where
in a matter of minutes it leveled public and residential buildings, causing
scores of thousands of deaths.
While the earthquake's physical effects were large, its impact on the thought
of the time was just as significant. Many living then recognized as a
prophetic sign of the end and began to give serious consideration to the
judgement of God in the last days. The Lisbon earthquake gave an impetus
to the study of prophecy.