The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Of 1906by Louise Chipley Slavicek
At approximately 5:12 A.M. on April 18, 1906, a powerful earthquake ripped through the city of San Francisco, California. Roadways rose and fell like ocean waves. Crumbling walls and chimneys rained glass and bricks onto sidewalks and streets. Crowded rooming houses suddenly vanished into heaps of splintered wood. Yet San Francisco's ordeal had only begun. The violent trembling of the ground had hardly stilled when dozens of fires, sparked by damaged chimneys and severed gas lines, erupted throughout the stricken city. The fires were brought under control by April 21, but by then the city had lost nearly 30,000 buildings to the earthquake and the inferno that followed. Half of the population was homeless, and about 3,000 were dead. Until Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in 2005, the San Francisco calamity of 1906 was the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
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