Natural hazards and disasters
Jamaica lies in a geographic area subject to hurricanes and earthquakes. The last major earthquake occurred in 1907 when a major part of the city of Kingston was destroyed. The last major hurricane was in September 1988 during the writing of this study. Hurricane Gilbert, the strongest hurricane recorded in the region this century, hit the island with full force, causing massive damage. Ten per cent of the housing stock was totally destroyed and 40 per cent was severely damaged. The island is also subject to severe flooding in low-lying areas whenever there are heavy rains.