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1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Facts

Updated on March 21, 2012

Books Set Durring the Earthquake

Facts and Trivia

  • The quake occurred at 5:12 and five seconds on April 18, 1906. It lasted 46 seconds.
  • The earthquake caused an estimated $400 million in property damage or more than $8 billion in today‚Äôs dollars.
  • The earth shifted at an estimated 4 to 5 feet per second while the rupture traveled at about 5,800 mph.
  • The San Andreas fault ruptured the ground surface for about 290 miles in the 1906 Earthquake. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake ruptured about 25 miles.
  • Olema, a town near Point Reyes Station, had often been mislabeled at the epicenter. Recent studies locate the epicenter under the Pacific Ocean, within a mile of Daly City.
  • The selling of alcoholic beverages was prohibited immediately after the earthquake.
  • The 1906 earthquake ranks as one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history and one of the most significant earthquakes of all time.
  • The exact number of people who died as a result of the quake and fires that followed are impossible the determine. The death toll published at the time was 478 but more recent research suggests that it was over 3,000.
  • The 1906 earthquake was the worlds first major natural disasters to have its effects recorded by photography.
  • Study of the quake gave birth to the elastic-rebound theory, which says that fault movements are based on the ability of rocks to stick together under stress, and that earthquakes result when the stress becomes too great and the rocks separate.


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    • profile image

      5 years ago

      that is so cute

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      One of the positives was that many Chinese were able to gain citizenship as the records were destroyed.