On this day in history, October 3, 1780, Jamaica was hit with one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history.

Savanna-la-Mar, also known as Sav-la-Mar, is a coastal town and capital of Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica. The town contained an 18th-century fort constructed for colonial defence against pirates in the Caribbean.

In 1780, the town was completely destroyed by a powerful hurricane known as the Savanna-la-Mar hurricane. It was rebuilt, as the port was an important part of the Atlantic trade in sugar, slaves and other goods.

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On October 2 there was an unusual elevation of the sea, which then broke suddenly in on the town, and on its retreat swept every thing away with it. There were no buildings left standing in the town or in the area for 30 to 40 miles around it. Allegedly, it caused the sea to rise to such a degree that ships were found stranded amongst the trees. On the next day this was succeeded by the worst hurricane they had ever experienced, followed by an earthquake, which almost totally demolished every building in the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, part of St. James and some parts of St. Elizabeth.

Jamaican folklore follows that the devastation of this western town as the work of the runaway slave known as Plato the Wizard, from beyond the grave. Just before his 1780 execution, the renowned obeahman pronounced a curse on Jamaica, predicting that his death would be avenged by a terrible storm set to befall the island before the end of that same year.

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