1906 San Francisco earthquake

1906 San Francisco earthquake

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The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 that struck San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, and the coast of Northern California
Northern California
Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The San Francisco Bay Area , and Sacramento as well as its metropolitan area are the main population centers...

 at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

 (Mw) of 7.9; however, other values have been proposed, from 7.7 to as high as 8.25. The main shock
Aftershock
An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous large earthquake, in the same area of the main shock. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock...

 epicenter
Epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...

 occurred offshore about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the city, near Mussel Rock
Mussel Rock
right|thumb|Mussel Rock is a rock formation on the coast of San Mateo County, California, offshore from Daly City. It consists of one large and numerous smaller rocks of a type known as a stack, where a headland is eroded unevenly, leaving small islands....

. It ruptured along the San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault is a continental strike-slip fault that runs a length of roughly through California in the United States. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip...

 both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles (476.4 km). Shaking was felt from Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 to Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, and inland as far as central Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

. The earthquake and resulting fire are remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States alongside the Galveston Hurricane of 1900
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on the city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas, on September 8, 1900.It had estimated winds of at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale...

. The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire, estimated to be above 3,000, is the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history. The economic
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 impact has been compared with the more recent Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

.

Impact


At the time, 375 deaths were reported; 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. This figure is still uncertain today, estimated to be roughly 3,000 at minimum. Most of the deaths occurred in San Francisco itself, but 189 were reported elsewhere in the Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

; nearby cities, such as Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...

 and San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 also suffered severe damages. In Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River
Salinas River (California)
The Salinas River is the largest river of the central coast of California, running and draining 4,160 square miles. It flows north-northwest and drains the Salinas Valley that slices through the Coast Range south from Monterey Bay...

 near its mouth. Where previously the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing
Moss Landing, California
Moss Landing is a census-designated place in Monterey County, California, United States. Moss Landing is located on the Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad north-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of 10 feet . As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 204, down from 300 at the 2000...

 and Watsonville
Watsonville, California
Watsonville is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 51,199 according to the 2010 census.Located on the central coast of California, the economy centers predominantly around the farming industry. It is known for growing strawberries, apples, lettuce and a host...

, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new outlet just north of Marina
Marina, California
Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. The population was 19,718 at the 2010 census. Marina is located along the central coast of California, west of Salinas, and 8 miles north of Monterey, at an elevation of 43 feet . Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city...

.

Between 227,000 and 300,000 people were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000; half of the people who evacuated fled across the bay to Oakland
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

 and Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

. Newspapers at the time described Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a large urban park consisting of of public grounds. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape but 20% larger than Central Park in New York, to which it is often compared. It is over three miles long east to west, and about half a...

, the Presidio
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area...

, the Panhandle
Panhandle (San Francisco)
The Panhandle is a park in San Francisco, California that forms a panhandle with Golden Gate Park. It is long and narrow, being three-quarters of a mile long and one block wide. Fell Street borders it to the north, Oak Street to the south, and Baker Street to the east. The Haight-Ashbury District...

 and the beaches between Ingleside and North Beach
North Beach, San Francisco, California
North Beach is a neighborhood in the northeast of San Francisco adjacent to Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and Russian Hill. The neighborhood is San Francisco's Little Italy, and has historically been home to a large Italian American population. It still holds many Italian restaurants today, though...

 as being covered with makeshift tents. More than two years later in 1908, many of these refugee camps were still in full operation.

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
West Coast of the United States
West Coast or Pacific Coast are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the United States. The term most often refers to the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Although not part of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii do border the Pacific Ocean but can't be included in...

, 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
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

; 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 Barness", they established the arts colony reputation that continues today.

The 1908 Lawson Report, a study of the 1906 quake led and edited by Professor Andrew Lawson
Andrew Lawson
Andrew Cowper Lawson July 25,1861- June 16,1952 was a professor of geology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the editor and co-author of the 1908 report on the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake which became known as the "Lawson Report"...

 of the University of California, showed that the very same San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault is a continental strike-slip fault that runs a length of roughly through California in the United States. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip...

 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
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and motion picture
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 footage. Furthermore, it occurred at a time when the science of seismology
Seismology
Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. The field also includes studies of earthquake effects, such as tsunamis as well as diverse seismic sources such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic,...

 was blossoming. The overall cost of the damage from the earthquake was estimated at the time to be around US$400 million ($9.5 billion in 2009 dollars).
Damage to other towns
Although the impact of the earthquake on San Francisco was the most famous, the earthquake also inflicted considerable damage on several other cities. These include San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 and Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...

, the entire downtown of which was essentially destroyed.

Geology



The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was caused by a rupture on the San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault is a continental strike-slip fault that runs a length of roughly through California in the United States. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip...

, a continental transform fault
Transform fault
A transform fault or transform boundary, also known as conservative plate boundary since these faults neither create nor destroy lithosphere, is a type of fault whose relative motion is predominantly horizontal in either sinistral or dextral direction. Furthermore, transform faults end abruptly...

 that forms part of the boundary between the Pacific Plate
Pacific Plate
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At 103 million square kilometres, it is the largest tectonic plate....

 and the North American Plate
North American Plate
The North American Plate is a tectonic plate covering most of North America, Greenland, Cuba, Bahamas, and parts of Siberia, Japan and Iceland. It extends eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Chersky Range in eastern Siberia. The plate includes both continental and oceanic crust...

. This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea
Salton Sea
The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California's Imperial Valley. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. Like Death...

 in the south to Cape Mendocino
Cape Mendocino
Cape Mendocino located on the Lost Coast entirely within Humboldt County, California, USA, is the westernmost point on the coast of California. It has been a landmark since the 16th century when the Manila Galleons would reach the coast here following the prevailing westerlies all the way across...

 to the north, a distance of about 800 miles (1,287.5 km). The earthquake ruptured the northern third of the fault for a distance of 296 miles (476.4 km). The maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet (6 m); however, geodetic
Geodesy
Geodesy , also named geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth, including its gravitational field, in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Geodesists also study geodynamical phenomena such as crustal...

 measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet (8.5 m).

A strong foreshock
Foreshock
A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event and is related to it in both time and space. The designation of an earthquake as foreshock, mainshock or aftershock is only possible after the event....

 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
Mercalli intensity scale
The Mercalli intensity scale is a seismic scale used for measuring the intensity of an earthquake. It measures the effects of an earthquake, and is distinct from the moment magnitude M_w usually reported for an earthquake , which is a measure of the energy released...

 reached VIII in San Francisco and up to IX in areas to the north like Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...

 where destruction was devastating.
There were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. Widely interpreted previously 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
Hydraulic mining
Hydraulic mining, or hydraulicking, is a form of mining that uses high-pressure jets of water to dislodge rock material or move sediment. In the placer mining of gold or tin, the resulting water-sediment slurry is directed through sluice boxes to remove the gold.-Precursor - ground...

" in the later years of the California Gold Rush
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands , and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to...

.

Subsequent fires



As damaging as the earthquake and its aftershock
Aftershock
An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous large earthquake, in the same area of the main shock. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock...

s were, the fires that burned out of control afterward were even more destructive. It has been estimated that up to 90% of the total destruction was the result of the subsequent fires. 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
San Francisco Fire Department
The San Francisco Fire Department provides fire and emergency services to the City and County of San Francisco, California.The San Francisco Fire Department, along with the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco Sheriff's Department, serves an estimated population of 1.4 million people...

, untrained in the use of dynamite
Dynamite
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

, attempted to demolish buildings to create firebreak
Firebreak
A firebreak is a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a bushfire or wildfire. A firebreak may occur naturally where there is a lack of vegetation or "fuel", such as a river, lake or canyon...

s, which resulted in the destruction of more than 50% of the buildings that would have otherwise survived. 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.

Due to a widespread practice by insurers
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 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. Capt. Leonard D. Wildman of the U.S. Army Signal Corps
United States Army Signal Corps
The United States Army Signal Corps develops, tests, provides, and manages communications and information systems support for the command and control of combined arms forces. It was established in 1860, the brainchild of United States Army Major Albert J. Myer, and has had an important role from...

 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."

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
Frederick Funston
Frederick N. Funston also known as Fred Funston, was a General in the United States Army, best known for his role in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War...

, commander of the Presidio of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area...

 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
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 barrages. Often the explosions set the ruins on fire or helped spread it.

One landmark building lost in the fire was the Palace Hotel
Palace Hotel, San Francisco
The Palace Hotel is a landmark historic hotel in San Francisco, California, located at the SW corner of Market and New Montgomery streets. Also referred to as the "New" Palace Hotel to distinguish it from the original 1875 Palace Hotel that it was built to replace, the present...

, 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 tenor Enrico Caruso and members of the Metropolitan Opera Company came to San Francisco to give a series of performances at the Grand Opera House. The night after Caruso's performance in Carmen
Carmen
Carmen is a French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself possibly influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin...

, 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
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, 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 traveling sets and costumes in the earthquake and ensuing fires.

Some of the greatest losses from fire were in scientific laboratories
Laboratory
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. The title of laboratory is also used for certain other facilities where the processes or equipment used are similar to those in scientific laboratories...

. Alice Eastwood
Alice Eastwood
Alice Eastwood was a Canadian American botanist. Born in Toronto, she moved to the United States at 14, and from age twenty to thirty, was a teacher in Denver, Colorado and taught herself botany. In 1890 she assumed a post in the herbarium at the California Academy of Sciences...

, the Curator of Botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 at the California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is among the largest museums of natural history in the world. The academy began in 1853 as a learned society and still carries out a large amount of original research, with exhibits and education becoming significant endeavors of the museum during the twentieth...

 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. The entire laboratory and all the records of Benjamin R. Jacobs
Benjamin R. Jacobs
Benjamin Ricardo Jacobs, Ph.D. was born at the American Consulate in Lima, Peru to Rosa Mulet Jacobs of Valparaíso, Chile, a French-Chilean, and Washington Michael Jacobs of South Carolina in the United States. Originally christened April 5, 1879 as Ricardo Benjamin Jacobs he later changed his name...

, a biochemist
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 who was researching the nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

 of everyday foods, was lost. 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.

The Army's role in the aftermath





The city's interim fire chief (the previous fire chief, Dennis T. Sullivan, was injured when the earthquake first struck; he later died from his injuries) sent an urgent request to the Presidio
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area...

, an Army post on the edge of the stricken city, for dynamite
Dynamite
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

. General 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 nearby Angel Island
Angel Island, California
Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park, and is administered by California State Parks. It has been used for a variety of...

 to mobilize and come into the City. Explosives were ferried across the Bay from the California Powder Works in what is now Hercules
Hercules, California
Hercules is a city in western Contra Costa County, California. Situated along the coast of San Pablo Bay, it is located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about northeast of San Francisco. The city has a 2010 population of 24,060 according to the U.S...

.

During the first few days, soldiers provided valuable services like patrolling streets to discourage looting and guarding buildings such as the U.S. Mint
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint, and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874. This building, the Old United States Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady,...

, 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
Adolphus Greely
Adolphus Washington Greely , was an American Polar explorer, a United States Army officer and a recipient of the Medal of Honor.-Early military career:...

, 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.

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
San Francisco Police Department
The San Francisco Police Department, also known as the SFPD and San Francisco Department Of Police, is the police department of the City and County of San Francisco, California...

 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." In addition, accusations of soldiers themselves engaging in looting also surfaced.

Early on April 18, 1906, recently retired Captain Edward Ord
Edward Otho Cresap Ord, II
Edward Otho Cresap Ord, II was a United States Army Major who served with the 22nd Infantry Regiment during the Indian Wars, the Spanish–American War and the Philippine-American War....

 of the 22nd Infantry Regiment was appointed a Special Police Officer by Mayor Eugene Schmitz and liasioned with Major General Adolphus Greely for relief work with the 22nd Regiment and other military units involved in the emergency. Ord later wrote a long letter to his mother on the 20th of April regarding Schmitz' "Shoot-to-Kill" Order and some “despicable” behavior of certain soldiers of his former 22nd Regiment from the Presidio who were looting. He also made it clear that the majority of soldiers served the community well.

Relocation and housing of displaced


The Army built 5,610 redwood and fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

 "relief houses" to accommodate 20,000 displaced people. The houses were designed by John McLaren
John McLaren (park superintendent)
Dr John Hays McLaren served as superintendent of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA for 53 years.Born at Bannockburn, near Stirling in Scotland, and worked as a dairyman before studying horticulture at the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens where he worked as an apprentice gardener's helper...

, 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 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 (66.9 m²) homes was recently purchased for more than $600,000.

Aftermath and reconstruction


Property losses from the disaster have been estimated to be more than $400 million. An insurance industry source tallies insured losses at $235 million (equivalent to $ in dollars).

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. 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." The earthquake itself is not even mentioned in the statement. Fatality and monetary damage estimates were manipulated.
In the rush to rebuild the city, building standards were first made much more stringent, but after about a year, they were in fact lowered, instead of strengthened, "by upwards of 50%" according to historian Robert Hansen. The History Channel International series Mega Disasters
Mega Disasters
Mega Disasters is an American documentary television series that originally aired from May 23, 2006 to July 2008 on The History Channel. Produced by Creative Differences, the program explores potential catastrophic threats to individual cities, countries, and the entire globe.The two...

attributes the rollback of the strict codes to complaints by contractors under duress from city fathers for the slow rate of reconstruction. 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—which estimates raised plenty of eyebrows even at the time, as it was undoubtedly the most photographed disaster then 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. 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. Part of the rush to rebuild was the desire to be ready for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915)
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery...

 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 now standing in the city 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. 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.

Almost immediately after the quake (and even during the disaster), planning and reconstruction plans were hatched to quickly rebuild the city. Rebuilding funds were immediately tied up by the fact that virtually all the major banks had been sites of the conflagration, requiring a lengthy wait of seven-to-ten days before their fire-proof vaults could cool sufficiently to be safely opened without risk of spontaneous combustion. The Bank of Italy, however, had no vault and evacuated its funds to the country and was the only bank able to provide liquidity in the immediate aftermath. Its president also immediately chartered and financed the sending of two ships to return with shiploads of lumber from Washington and Oregon mills which provided the initial reconstruction materials and surge. In 1929, Bank of Italy was renamed and is now known as Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

.

William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

, the pioneering American psychologist, was teaching at Stanford at the time of the earthquake and traveled into San Francisco to observe first-hand its aftermath. He was most impressed by the positive attitude of the survivors and the speed with which they improvised services and created order out of chaos. This formed the basis of the chapter "On some Mental Effects of the Earthquake" in his book Memories and Studies.

The grander of citywide reconstruction schemes, however, required investment from Eastern monetary sources, hence the spin and de-emphasis of the earthquake, the promulgation of the tough new building codes, and subsequent reputation sensitive actions such as the official low death toll. One of the more famous and ambitious plans came from famed urban planner Daniel Burnham
Daniel Burnham
Daniel Hudson Burnham, FAIA was an American architect and urban planner. He was the Director of Works for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He took a leading role in the creation of master plans for the development of a number of cities, including Chicago and downtown Washington DC...

. His bold plan called for, among other proposals, Haussmann
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

-style avenues, boulevards, arterial thoroughfares that radiated across the city, a massive civic center complex with classical structures, and what would have been the largest urban park in the world, stretching from Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, California
The Twin Peaks are two hills with an elevation of about near the geographic center of San Francisco, California. Except for Mount Davidson, they are the highest points in the city.-Location and climate:...

 to Lake Merced
Lake Merced
Lake Merced is a freshwater lake in the southwest corner of San Francisco. It is surrounded by three golf courses , as well as residential areas, Lowell High School, San Francisco State University, Fort Funston and the Pacific Ocean...

 with a large atheneum at its peak. But this plan was dismissed at the time as impractical and unrealistic.

For example, real estate investors and other land owners were against the idea due to the large amount of land the city would have to purchase to realize such proposals. City fathers likewise attempted at the time to eliminate the Chinese population and export Chinatown
Chinatown, San Francisco, California
San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Since its establishment in 1848, it has been highly important and influential in the history and culture of ethnic Chinese immigrants to the United States and North America...

 (and other poor populations) to the edge of the county where the Chinese could still contribute to the local taxbase. The Chinese occupants had other ideas and prevailed instead. Chinatown was rebuilt in the newer, modern, Western form that exists today. In fact, the destruction of City Hall
San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall, re-opened in 1915, in its open space area in the city's Civic Center, is a Beaux-Arts monument to the City Beautiful movement that epitomized the high-minded American Renaissance of the 1880s to 1917. The structure's dome is the fifth largest in the world...

 and the Hall of Records enabled thousands of Chinese immigrants to claim residency and citizenship, creating a backdoor to the Chinese Exclusion Act
Chinese Exclusion Act (United States)
The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by Chester A. Arthur on May 8, 1882, following revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Those revisions allowed the U.S. to suspend immigration, and Congress subsequently acted quickly to implement the suspension of...

, and bring in their relatives from China.

While the original street grid was restored, many of Burnham's proposals inadvertently saw the light of day, such as a neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 civic center complex, wider streets, a preference of arterial thoroughfares, a subway under Market Street, a more people-friendly Fisherman's Wharf, and a monument to the city on Telegraph Hill
Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Telegraph Hill refers to a neighborhood in San Francisco, California. It is one of San Francisco's 44 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills."-Location:...

, Coit Tower
Coit Tower
Coit Tower is a tower in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, California. The tower, in the city's Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 at the request of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco; Coit bequeathed one-third of her estate to the city "to be expended in an...

.

The earthquake was also responsible for the development of the Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California
Pacific Heights is a neighborhood of San Francisco, California.-Location:Pacific Heights is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in Northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz and the Presidio...

 neighborhood. The immense power of the earthquake had destroyed almost all of the mansions on Nob Hill
Nob Hill, San Francisco, California
Nob Hill refers to a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, centered on the intersection of California and Powell streets. It is one of San Francisco's 44 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills."-Location :...

 except for the Flood Mansion. Others that hadn't been destroyed were dynamited by the Army forces aiding the firefighting efforts in attempts to create firebreaks. As one indirect result, the wealthy looked westward where the land was cheap and relatively undeveloped, and where there were better views and a consistently warmer climate. Constructing new mansions without reclaiming and clearing old rubble simply sped attaining new homes in the tent city during the reconstruction. In the years after the first world war, the "money" on Nob Hill migrated to Pacific Heights, where it has remained to this day.

Reconstruction was swift, and largely completed by 1915, in time for the Panama-Pacific Exposition which celebrated the reconstruction of the city and its "rise from the ashes".

Since 1915, the city has officially commemorated the disaster each year by gathering the remaining survivors at Lotta's Fountain
Lotta's Fountain
Lotta's fountain was dedicated in 1875 at the intersection of Market Street where Geary and Kearny Streets connect in downtown San Francisco, California....

, a fountain in the city's financial district that served as a meeting point during the disaster for people to look for loved ones and exchange information.

International assistance and insurance payments


During the first few days after news of the disaster reached the rest of the world, relief efforts reached over $5,000,000. London, England, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Individual citizens and businesses donated large sums of money for the relief effort: Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

 gave $100,000; Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

 gave $100,000; the Dominion of Canada made a special appropriation of $100,000 and even the Bank of Canada
Bank of Canada
The Bank of Canada is Canada's central bank and "lender of last resort". The Bank was created by an Act of Parliament on July 3, 1934 as a privately owned corporation. In 1938, the Bank became a Crown corporation belonging to the Government of Canada...

 in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 gave $25,000. The U.S. government quickly voted for one million dollars in relief supplies which were immediately rushed to the area, including supplies for food kitchens and many thousands of tents that city dwellers would occupy the next several years. These relief efforts, however, were not nearly enough to get families on their feet again, and consequently the burden was placed on wealthier members of the city, who were reluctant to assist in the rebuilding of homes they were not responsible for. All residents were eligible for daily meals served from a number of communal soup kitchens and citizens as far away as Idaho and Utah were known to send daily loaves of bread to San Francisco as relief supplies were co-ordinated by the railroads.

Insurance companies, faced with staggering claims of $250 million, paid out between $235 million and $265 million on policyholders' claims, often for fire damage only, since shake damage from earthquakes was excluded from coverage under most policies. At least 137 insurance companies were directly involved and another 17 as reinsurers. Twenty companies went bankrupt, and most excluded shake damage claims. However, Lloyds of London reports having paid all claims in full, more than $50 million and the insurance companies in Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960, it is the second most populous city on New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making...

 report also paying every claim in full, with the Hartford Fire Insurance Company
The Hartford
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. , usually known as The Hartford, is a Fortune 500 company and one of America’s largest investment and insurance companies...

 paying over $11 million and Aetna Insurance Company almost $3 million.

The earthquake was the worst single incident for the insurance industry before the September 11, 2001, attacks, and the largest U.S. relief effort ever to this day, including even Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

. After the 1906 earthquake, a global discussion arose concerning a legally flawless exclusion of the earthquake hazard from fire insurance contracts. It was pressed ahead mainly by re-insurers. Their aim was the globally uniform solution of the problem of earthquake hazard in fire insurance contracts. Until 1910, a few countries, especially in Europe, followed the call for an exclusion of the earthquake hazard from all fire insurance contracts. In the U.S., however, the question was discussed differently. But the traumatized public reacted with fierce opposition. On August 1, 1909, the California Senate enacted the California Standard Form of Fire Insurance Policy, which did not contain any earthquake clause. Thus the state decided that insurers would have to pay again if another earthquake was followed by fires. Other earthquake-endangered countries followed the California example.
The insurance payments heavily affected the international financial system. Gold transfers from European insurance companies to policyholders in San Francisco led to a rise in interest rates, subsequently to a lack of available loans and finally to the Knickerbocker Trust Company
Knickerbocker Trust Company
The Knickerbocker Trust, chartered in 1884 by Frederick G. Eldridge, a friend and classmate of financier J.P. Morgan, figured at one time among the largest banks in the United States and a central player in the Panic of 1907. As a trust company, its main business was serving as trustee for...

 crisis of October 1907 which led to the Panic of 1907
Panic of 1907
The Panic of 1907, also known as the 1907 Bankers' Panic, was a financial crisis that occurred in the United States when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50% from its peak the previous year. Panic occurred, as this was during a time of economic recession, and there were numerous runs on...

.

Centennial commemorations



The 1906 Centennial Alliance was set up as a clearing-house for various centennial events commemorating the earthquake. Award presentations, religious services, a National Geographic TV movie, a projection of fire onto the Coit Tower, memorials, and lectures were part of the commemorations. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program issued a series of Internet documents, and the tourism industry promoted the 100th anniversary as well.

Eleven survivors of the 1906 earthquake attended the centennial commemorations in 2006, including Irma Mae Weule, who was the oldest survivor of the quake at the time of her death in 2008 at the age of 109. Vivian Illing
Vivian Illing
Vivian Lousie Illing , was, at the time of her death in 2009, thought to be the oldest living survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.Illing was born in West Newton, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1900...

 (December 25, 1900 – January 22, 2009) was believed to be the second-oldest survivor at the time of her death, leaving Herbert Hamrol
Herbert Hamrol
Herbert Heimie Hamrol was, at the time of his death, thought to be the last known survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake...

 (January 10, 1903 – February 4, 2009) as the last known remaining survivor at the time of his death.

Shortly after Hamrol's death, however, two additional survivors were discovered. William Del Monte, 103, and Jeanette Scola Trapani (April 21, 1902 – December 28, 2009), 106, stated that they stopped attending events commemorating the earthquake when it became too much trouble for them. The discovery has opened up the possibility that there may still be more living survivors left that have not become public knowledge. Another survivor, Rose Cliver
Rose Cliver
Rose Cliver is one of the last known survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. At the time of the earthquake, Cliver was three years old....

, 106, attended her first earthquake reunion celebration, the 103rd anniversary of the earthquake, along with Del Monte on April 18, 2009. Nancy Stoner Sage died at the age of 105 in Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 just three days short of the 104th anniversary of the earthquake on April 18, 2010. Del Monte, now 104, attended the event at Lotta's Fountain on April 18, 2010 and the dinner at John's Restaurant the night before. Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach is an unincorporated community in Monterey County, California. It lies at an elevation of 3 feet . Pebble Beach is a small coastal resort destination, home to the famous golf course, Pebble Beach Golf Links....

 resident Ruth Newman, 109, is thought to be the oldest survivor.

Analysis



For a number of years, the epicenter of the quake was assumed to be near the town of Olema
Olema, California
Olema is an unincorporated community in Marin County, California. It is located on Olema Creek south-southeast of Point Reyes Station, at an elevation of 69 feet ....

, in the Point Reyes
Point Reyes
Point Reyes is a prominent cape on the Pacific coast of northern California. It is located in Marin County approximately WNW of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula, the region bounded by Tomales Bay on the northeast and Bolinas Lagoon on the southeast...

 area of Marin County
Marin County, California
Marin County is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. As of 2010, the population was 252,409. The county seat is San Rafael and the largest employer is the county government. Marin County is well...

, because of evidence of the degree of local earth displacement. In the 1960s, a seismologist at UC Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 proposed that the epicenter was more likely offshore of San Francisco, to the northwest of the Golden Gate
Golden Gate
The Golden Gate is the North American strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Since 1937 it has been spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge...

. However, the most recent analysis by the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

 (USGS) shows that the most likely epicenter was very near Mussel Rock
Mussel Rock
right|thumb|Mussel Rock is a rock formation on the coast of San Mateo County, California, offshore from Daly City. It consists of one large and numerous smaller rocks of a type known as a stack, where a headland is eroded unevenly, leaving small islands....

 on the coast of Daly City
Daly City, California
Daly City is the largest city in San Mateo County, California, United States, with a 2010 population of 101,123. Located immediately south of San Francisco, it is named in honor of businessman and landowner John Daly.-History:...

, an adjacent suburb just south of San Francisco. An offshore epicenter is supported by the occurrence of a local tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 recorded by a tidal gauge at the San Francisco Presidio; the wave had an amplitude of approximately 3 in (8 cm) and an approximate period of 40–45 minutes.

The most important characteristic of the shaking intensity noted in Lawson's (1908) report was the clear correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 of intensity with underlying geologic conditions. Areas situated in sediment
Sediment
Sediment is naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself....

-filled valleys sustained stronger shaking than nearby bedrock sites, and the strongest shaking occurred in areas of Bay where landfill failed in the earthquake (earthquake liquefaction). Modern seismic-zonation practice accounts for the differences in seismic hazard posed by varying geologic conditions.

The USGS estimates that the earthquake measured a powerful 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

. The earthquake caused ruptures visible on the surface for a length of 470 kilometres (292 mi). Modified Mercalli Intensities
Mercalli intensity scale
The Mercalli intensity scale is a seismic scale used for measuring the intensity of an earthquake. It measures the effects of an earthquake, and is distinct from the moment magnitude M_w usually reported for an earthquake , which is a measure of the energy released...

 of VII to IX paralleled the length of the rupture, extending as far as 80 kilometers inland from the fault trace.

In popular culture


The earthquake was the basis of the 1936 MGM film San Francisco
San Francisco (film)
San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film, which was the top grossing movie of that year, stars Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The then very popular singing of MacDonald helped make this film...

, which starred Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

, Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy...

, and Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American theatrical and film actor, who appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, ranking among the top ten box office draws for almost every year from 1938 to 1951...

, who received an Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 nomination for this film. In 1938, a Warner Brothers movie entitled The Sisters
The Sisters (1938 film)
The Sisters is a 1938 American drama film produced and directed by Anatole Litvak. The screenplay by Milton Krims is based on the 1937 novel of the same title by Myron Brinig.-Plot:...

, starring Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

 and Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn
Errol Leslie Flynn was an Australian-born actor. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films, being a legend and his flamboyant lifestyle.-Early life:...

, featured a sequence portraying the earthquake, partly using footage from the 1927 Warners film Old San Francisco
Old San Francisco (film)
Old San Francisco is a silent movie which was released by Warner Brothers.-Production background:The film was released in a silent version and in a Vitaphone version, with sound-on-disc recording of music and sound effects only. The film was released by Warner Brothers, directed by Alan Crosland,...

.

An epic Warner Brothers and Disney film entitled 1906
1906 (film)
1906 is an upcoming disaster film directed by Brad Bird and based on events just prior to and during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film examines corruption within the then government of San Francisco, as well as the policemen who worked to defeat these criminal activities.Based on the...

and directed by Brad Bird
Brad Bird
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an Academy Award-winning American director, voice actor, animator and screenwriter. He is best known for writing and directing Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille . He also adapted and directed the critically acclaimed 2D animated 1999 Warner Brothers...

 is currently in production. Based on the earthquake, it is an adaptation of the best-selling James Dalessandro
James Dalessandro
James Dalessandro is an American writer. He is best known for his non-fiction novel 1906 , a story based on the events surrounding the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906....

 novel of the same name.

The National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

 added a documentary of the footage of the earthquake, entitled San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906 to its list of American films for preservation. The film was selected along with 24 other films in 2005, and is currently one of 500 films recognized by the Registry.

See also


  • 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
  • Andrew Lawson
    Andrew Lawson
    Andrew Cowper Lawson July 25,1861- June 16,1952 was a professor of geology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the editor and co-author of the 1908 report on the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake which became known as the "Lawson Report"...

    , editor of the 1908 report on the earthquake
  • Arnold Genthe
    Arnold Genthe
    Arnold Genthe was a photographer, best known for his photos of San Francisco's Chinatown, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and his portraits of noted persons, from politicians and socialites to literary figures and entertainment celebrities.-Biography:Genthe was born in Berlin, Prussia, to Louise...

     and George R. Lawrence
    George R. Lawrence
    George Raymond Lawrence was a commercial photographer of northern Illinois. After years of experience building kites and balloons for aerial panoramic photography, Lawrence turned to aviation design in 1910.-Life:...

    , photographers of the earthquake
  • Committee of Fifty (1906)
    Committee of Fifty (1906)
    This Committee of Fifty, sometimes referred to as Committee of Safety, Citizens' Committee of Fifty or Relief and Restoration Committee of Law and Order, was called into existence by Mayor Eugene Schmitz during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake...

  • Earthquake engineering
    Earthquake engineering
    Earthquake engineering is the scientific field concerned with protecting society, the natural and the man-made environment from earthquakes by limiting the seismic risk to socio-economically acceptable levels...

  • Earthquakes in California
    Earthquakes in California
    Earthquakes in California are common occurrences as the state is located on the San Andreas Fault, which cuts across California and forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and the North American Plate. There are many thousands of small earthquakes per year, most of them are so small that...

  • List of earthquakes in the United States


Panoramas


External links