san francisco earthquake 1906 | 1906 - San Francisco Earthquake: Before and After Journey Down Market ...

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The earthquake and resulting fire are remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.

San Francisco residents were abruptly awakened one spring morning by an earthquake that lasted no more than a minute, but set off a chain of events that caused the city to burn for four straight days. The estimated 7.7- to 7.9-magnitude temblor not only broke natural gas mains, which sparked the fires, but also damaged water mains, leaving the fire department with limited resources to battle the blaze. By the time the fires were doused, flames had devoured more than 500 city blocks.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures

A picture of several buildings that collapsed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. - Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

This photo shows Howard St. in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The building is on a severe tilt and was the subject of many photographs.

This photo shows Howard St. in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The building is on a severe tilt and was the subject of many photographs.

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