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1906 San Francisco earthquake

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Mr. Miracle
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« on: July 08, 2009, 01:15:08 pm »

1906 San Francisco earthquake

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, CA and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 A.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906.[2] The most widely-accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.8; however, other values have been proposed, from 7.7 to as high as 8.25.[3] The main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles (3 km) from the city, near Mussel Rock. It ruptured along the San Andreas Fault both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles (477 km).[4] Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada. The earthquake and resulting fire is remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 01:15:25 pm »

The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire, estimated to be above 3,000,[5] is the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history. The economic impact has been compared with the more recent Hurricane Katrina.[6]
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 01:16:08 pm »



Date April 18, 1906
Magnitude 7.8 Mw
Depth: 8 kilometres (5.0 mi)[1]
Epicenter location: San Francisco
Countries/
regions affected United States
(San Francisco Bay Area)
Casualties: 3,000+ killed
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 01:16:42 pm »



Stockton Street from Union Square, looking toward Market Street
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 01:16:54 pm »

At the time, only 376 deaths were reported;[7] the figure was fabricated by government officials who felt that reporting the true death toll would hurt real estate prices and efforts to rebuild the city; additionally, hundreds of casualties in Chinatown went ignored and unrecorded. Today, this figure has been revised to an estimate of at least 3,000.[8] Most of the deaths occurred in San Francisco itself, but 189 were reported elsewhere in the Bay Area; nearby cities, such as Santa Rosa, San Jose and Stanford, also suffered severe damage. In Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where previously, the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new outlet just north of Marina.

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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 01:18:03 pm »



Ruins of San Francisco after earthquake and fire, April 18 - 21, 1906, view from Stanford Mansion site
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 01:18:42 pm »



Houses damaged by the earthquake
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 01:18:57 pm »

Between 225,000 and 300,000 people were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000; half of the evacuees fled across the bay to Oakland and Berkeley. Newspapers at the time described Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the Panhandle and the beaches between Ingleside and North Beach as being covered with makeshift tents. More than two years later in 1908, many of these refugee camps were still in full operation.[10
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 01:19:10 pm »

The earthquake and fire would leave a long-standing and significant impression on the development of California. At the time of the disaster, San Francisco had been the ninth-largest city in the United States and the largest on the West Coast, with a population of about 410,000. Over a period of 60 years, the city had become the financial, trade and cultural center of the West; operated the busiest port on the West Coast; and was the "gateway to the Pacific", through which growing US economic and military power was projected into the Pacific and Asia. Over 80% of the city was destroyed by the earthquake and fire. Though San Francisco would rebuild quickly, the disaster would divert trade, industry and population growth south to Los Angeles, which during the 20th century would become the largest and most important urban area in the West. In addition, many of the city's leading poets and writers retreated to Carmel-by-the-Sea where, as "The Bohemians", they established the arts colony reputation that continues today.

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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 01:19:20 pm »

The 1908 Lawson Report, a study of the 1906 quake led and edited by Professor Andrew Lawson of the University of California, showed that the very same San Andreas Fault which had caused the disaster in San Francisco ran close to Los Angeles as well. The earthquake was the first natural disaster of its magnitude to be documented by photography and motion picture footage. Furthermore, it occurred at a time when the science of seismology was blossoming. The overall cost of the damage from the earthquake was estimated at the time to be around $400 million ($6.5 billion in 2009 dollars).

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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 01:19:46 pm »



Arnold Genthe's famous photograph, looking toward the fire on Sacramento Street
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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 01:20:29 pm »

Geology

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was caused by a rupture on the San Andreas Fault, a continental transform fault that forms part of the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino to the north, a distance of about 800 miles (1,300 km). The earthquake ruptured the northern third of the fault for a distance of 296 miles (477 km). The maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet (6 m); however, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet (8.5 m).[11]

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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 01:20:50 pm »

A strong foreshock preceded the mainshock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds. The shaking intensity as described on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale reached VIII in San Francisco and up to IX in areas to the north like Santa Rosa where destruction was devastating.

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Mr. Miracle
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 01:21:03 pm »

There were decades of minor earthquakes - more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California - before the 1906 quake. Widely previously interpreted as precursory activity to the 1906 earthquake, they have been found to have a strong seasonal pattern and have been postulated to be due to large seasonal sediment loads in coastal bays that overlie faults as a result of the erosion caused by "hydraulic mining" in the later years of the California Gold Rush.[12]

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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 01:21:33 pm »


The San Andreas Fault.
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