Damage Of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Essay

2097 Words Dec 9th, 2014 9 Pages
Damage of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

The residents of San Francisco were familiar with earthquakes, at least those earthquakes who would rattle windows and china cabinets and those who would do little to no damage. The earthquake of 1906 was the most catastrophic in California history, as well as the most destructive in United States history. The earthquake happened on April 18, 1906, at 5:15 a.m. when the ground shook violently for an average of 40 seconds. It was stated that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.8 to 8.3, which was created by the North American and Pacific plates moving by more than 15 feet while the annual average is 2 inches. The fault is characterized by lateral motion where the Pacific plate moves north. The San Andreas Fault, runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Mendocino to the north, a distance of about 810 miles. The maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet. The epicenter was just offshore of San Francisco, it was felt from southern Oregon to Los Angeles (Hansen, Condon, 1989).
It is said that San Francisco from its founding was built to burn, the fire department chief entertained no illusion about a so called “fireproof” buildings with a poor water supply and low pressure on the fire hydrants and abandoned and deteriorated underground system. During the earthquakes half minute duration, the main water system was broken. Down the Peninsula one of three water mains ran directly over the San…

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