At 5:12 AM on April 18th, 1906, one of the most devastating earthquakes ever recorded in the U.S. The quake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles and put the city into ruins. The resulting series of fires burned huge sections of the city blocks at a time, leaving metal cages in the street where incinerated streetcars lay, and the city in complete chaos. The impact of these events is still felt today as many records and files were lost in the fire. 28,000 buildings were destroyed and around 3,000 lives were lost during the events that followed this infamous earthquake.
Although there have been more powerful earthquakes since the 1906 quake in San Fransisco, many of them have happened in remote areas of the U.S. and none have resulted in the same widespread flames that plagued the city in April of 1906.
One of the reasons that the fire was so difficult to contain was the earthquake destroyed the city’s water mains. Around 250,000 residents were left homeless as a result of the tremor and fire damage. The resulting tent and shack camps housed the crowds of displaced residents.
And as a last look, here is a rare video of the damage. The extent of the damage is truly astounding.
The earthquake of 1906 will be remembered for the the devastating effect it had on San Fransisco and the impact on the San Andreas fault line which we are still feeling to this day.