Scientists theorize and essentially know the next big whammy in imminent for our time.
But for the people who survived the 1906 earthquake (that took out nearly 90%) of the city—they could not predict the reality of falling asleep only to wake up to disaster on April, 18th 1906. A 7.8 earthquake centered near the city of San Francisco struck at 5:15 AM. “The California earthquake of April 18, 1906, ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time,” according to the USGS. The intense shaking toppled hundreds of buildings, but the resulting out-of-control fires were even more destructive. Broken water mains and limited firefighting capabilities allowed city-wide fires to burn for several days. Nearly 500 city blocks were leveled.
Today, San Francisco city leaders and community members on Thursday gathered at 5:12 a.m. at Lotta’s Fountain — one of the oldest monuments in the city by the bay and one-time gathering place for earthquake survivors — to remember the lives lost after the temblor struck.
In honor of today, we’re looking back at some of the still images found through the ages of the day and the resulting days after.
// Photography courtesy of the San Francisco Library