Atlantis Online
August 23, 2019, 02:56:45 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Hunt for Lost City of Atlantis
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3227295.stm
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

1906 San Francisco earthquake

Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 1906 San Francisco earthquake  (Read 1327 times)
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2009, 01:21:59 pm »

Subsequent fires

As damaging as the earthquake and its aftershocks were, the fires that burned out of control afterward were much more destructive.[13] It has been estimated that up to 90% of the total destruction was the result of the subsequent fires.[14] Over 30 fires, caused by ruptured gas mains, destroyed approximately 25,000 buildings on 490 city blocks. Worst of all, many were started when firefighters, untrained in the use of dynamite, attempted to demolish buildings to create firebreaks, which resulted in the destruction of more than 50% of the buildings that would have otherwise survived.[15] The city's Fire Chief, Dennis T. Sullivan, who would have been responsible, had died in the initial quake. The dynamited buildings themselves often caught fire. In all, the fires burned for four days and nights.

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2009, 01:22:08 pm »

Due to a widespread practice by insurers to indemnify San Francisco properties from fire, but not earthquake damage, most of the destruction in the city was blamed on the fires. Some property owners deliberately set fire to damaged properties, in order to claim them on their insurance; this ultimately served no purpose, as wealthier citizens of the city shouldered the costs of repairing an estimated 80% of the city. Capt. Leonard D. Wildman of the U.S. Army Signal Corps[16] reported that he "was stopped by a fireman who told me that people in that neighborhood were firing their houses...they were told that they would not get their insurance on buildings damaged by the earthquake unless they were damaged by fire."[15]

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2009, 01:22:17 pm »

As water mains were also broken, the city fire department had few resources with which to fight the fires. Several fires in the downtown area merged to become one giant inferno. Brigadier General Frederick Funston, commander of the Department of California and a resident of San Francisco, tried to bring the fire under control by detonating blocks of buildings around the fire to create firebreaks with all sorts of means, ranging from black powder and dynamite to even artillery barrages. Often the explosions set the ruins on fire or helped spread it.

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2009, 01:22:26 pm »

One landmark building lost in the fire was the Palace Hotel, subsequently rebuilt, which had many famous visitors, including royalty and celebrated performers. It was constructed in 1875 primarily financed by Bank of California co-founder William Ralston, the "man who built San Francisco". In April 1906, the world's greatest tenor, Enrico Caruso, and members of the Metropolitan Opera Company came to San Francisco to give a series of performances at the Tivoli Opera House. The night after Caruso's performance in Carmen, the tenor was awakened in the early morning in his Palace Hotel suite by a strong jolt. Clutching an autographed photo of President Theodore Roosevelt, Caruso made an effort to get out of the city, first by boat and then by train, and vowed never to return to San Francisco. He kept his word. The Metropolitan Opera Company lost all of its travelling sets and costumes in the earthquake and ensuing fires.[17]

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2009, 01:22:45 pm »

Some of the greatest losses from fire were in scientific laboratories. Alice Eastwood, the Curator of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, is credited with saving nearly 1,500 specimens, including the entire type specimen collection for a newly discovered and extremely rare species, before the remainder of the largest botanical collection in the western United States was consumed by fire.[18][19] The entire laboratory and all the records of Benjamin R. Jacobs, a biochemist who was researching the nutrition of everyday foods, was lost.[20]Another treasure lost in the fires was the original California flag used in the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt at Sonoma, which at the time was being stored in a state building in San Francisco.[21]

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2009, 01:23:32 pm »



Burning of San Francisco, Mission District
Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2009, 01:24:09 pm »



San Francisco Fire, 1906 by William A. Coulter, a then-resident of San Francisco, and an eyewitness to the fire.
Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2009, 01:24:40 pm »

The army's role in the aftermath

The city's interim fire chief (the original one was killed when the earthquake first struck) sent an urgent request to the Presidio, an Army post on the edge of the stricken city, for dynamite. Funston had already decided the situation required the use of troops. Collaring a policeman, he sent word to Mayor Schmitz of his decision to assist, and then ordered Army troops from as far away as Angel Island to mobilize and come into the City. Explosives were ferried across the Bay from the California Powder Works in what is now Hercules.

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2009, 01:24:50 pm »

During the first few days, soldiers provided valuable services patrolling streets to discourage looting and guarding buildings such as the US Mint, post office, and county jail. They aided the fire department in dynamiting to demolish buildings in the path of the fires. The Army also became responsible for feeding, sheltering, and clothing the tens of thousands of displaced residents of the city. Under the command of Funston's superior, Major General Adolphus Greely, Commanding Officer, Pacific Division, over 4,000 troops saw service during the emergency. On July 1, 1906, civil authorities assumed responsibility for relief efforts, and the Army withdrew from the city.

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2009, 01:25:16 pm »

On April 18, in response to riots among evacuees and looting, Mayor Schmitz issued and ordered posted a proclamation that "The Federal Troops, the members of the Regular Police Force and all Special Police Officers have been authorized by me to kill any and all persons found engaged in Looting or in the Commission of Any Other Crime." It is estimated that as many as 500 people were shot dead in the city, many of whom, it has been suggested, were not looting at all, but were attempting to save their own possessions from the advancing fire.[22] In addition, accusations of soldiers themselves engaging in looting also surfaced.[23]

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2009, 01:26:29 pm »


Soldiers looting during the fire


Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2009, 01:27:31 pm »



Displaced victims of the earthquake, in front of a temporary tent shelter. Other tents can be seen in the background at right.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 01:28:25 pm by Mr. Miracle » Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2009, 01:29:01 pm »

Relocation and housing of displaced

The Army built 5,610 redwood and fir "relief houses" to accommodate 20,000 displaced people. The houses were designed by John McLaren, and were grouped in eleven camps, packed close to each other and rented to people for two dollars per month until rebuilding was completed. They were painted olive drab, partly to blend in with the site, and partly because the military had large quantities of olive drab paint on hand. The camps had a peak population of 16,448 people, but by 1907 most people had moved out. The camps were then re-used as garages, storage spaces or shops. The cottages cost on average $100-741 to put up. The $2 monthly rents went towards the full purchase price of $50. Most of the shacks have been destroyed, but a small number survived. One of the modest 720 sq ft (67 m2) homes was recently purchased for more than $600,000.[24]

Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2009, 01:29:55 pm »



One of the eleven temporary housing camps in 1906
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 01:31:24 pm by Mr. Miracle » Report Spam   Logged
Mr. Miracle
Full Member
***
Posts: 33



« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2009, 01:32:26 pm »

Aftermath and reconstruction

Property losses from the disaster have been estimated to be more than $400 million.[25][26] An insurance industry source tallies insured losses at $235 million (equivalent to $5.69 billion in 2008 dollars[27][25]).

Political and business leaders strongly downplayed the effects of the earthquake, fearing loss of outside investment in the city which was badly needed to rebuild.[25] In his first public statement, California governor George C. Pardee emphasized the need to rebuild quickly: "this is not the first time that San Francisco has been destroyed by fire, I have not the slightest doubt that the City by the Golden Gate will be speedily rebuilt, and will, almost before we know it, resume her former great activity."[28] The earthquake itself is not even mentioned in the statement. Fatality and monetary damage estimates were manipulated.[29][25] In the rush to rebuild the city, building standards were first made much more stringent, but soon after about a year, in fact lowered instead of strengthened "by upwards of 50%" according to historian Robert Hansen. The History Channel International series Mega Disasters attributes the rollback of the strict codes to complaints by contractors under duress from city fathers for the slow rate of reconstruction.[25] In the report, the building codes were taken back off the books in only 13 months, while the official death toll was placed at a mere 379[25]—which estimates raised plenty of eyebrows even at the time, as it was undoubtably theretofore the most photographed disaster known to mankind, and the damage suggests far more would have been trapped as is backed by anecdotal stories of many being trapped in fallen buildings then consumed by flames.[25] For over forty years now, research by a San Francisco librarian has amassed a death toll well in excess of three thousand, and she has opined the effort will go on for years more.[25] Part of the rush to rebuild was the desire to be ready for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition set to be hosted in 1915, and indeed by that year there was almost no visible damage to be seen in the city. The total disregard to earthquake safety plagues the city today, as a majority of buildings standing in the city today were built in the first half of the 20th century to the lax codes. Building standards did not reach even 1906 levels until the 1950s.[25] A detailed analysis of the city today estimates that an earthquake less powerful than the 1906 quake would completely destroy many sections of the city and result in thousands of deaths.[25]

Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy