What America Looked Like: The San Francisco Earthquake - the Atlantic
In less than 60 seconds, San Francisco was ruined.
At 5:13 a.m., April 18, 1906, the San Andreas fault line ruptured, radiating seismic waves of destruction that are now believed to have measured 7.7 on earthquake scales. But the destruction didn’t end there — the quake spawned multiple fires that burned for days, cementing the event as one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. It is estimated that 3,000 people died and there were $500 million (in 1906 dollars) in damage.
Chaos and looting ensued, as the San Francisco Police summarized in a 1910 report…