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Today in History: 3000 Die Amid Great San Francisco Earthquake

Mac Slavo
April 18th, 2011
Comments (12)

If there’s one thing that history can teach us about preparedness, it’s that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and to anybody.

Via History Channel:

At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

San Francisco’s brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated. Fires immediately broke out and–because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them–firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago.

By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city’s homes and nearly all the central business district.

Many have not heeded the warnings of the 1906 quake. How soon we forget.

Investigative reports and documentaries on the 1906 quake and the subsequent rebuilding of San Francisco’s infrastructure suggest that at least half of the city has been built on the rubble of the previous earthquake, so perhaps millions of San Fran residents are living on land that is likely to liquefy in the next big quake which will undoubtedly strike the city.While San Francisco employs some of the most advanced building designs in the world, even if a building can withstand a 9.0 Richter earthquake, if the land below it gives way, there’s nothing that can be done.

As we’ve seen recently with Fukushima, even the best laid plans may not be enough when nature’s fury takes hold. Like the 1906 San Francisco event, the majority of the damage at Fukushima, the 2004 South East Asian Tsunami and the Haitian earthquake, came after the initial ground shake, costing billions of dollars in damage, and more importantly, tens of thousands of lives.

Governments and individuals can only prepare so much. Sometimes, it comes down to luck and the faith that our higher power is there to protect us.

Video Documentary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake:

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Author: Mac Slavo
Date: April 18th, 2011
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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  1. scott says:

    Top Stories
    More U.S. Downgrades to Come, but Stocks to Stay Strong: Dow- Breakout

    Phil Dow, director of equity strategy for RBC Wealth Management, says Standard & Poor’s move to downgrade its outlook on U.S. debt is likely the first in a series of these actions but sees stocks staying strong.
    They must think we are all just retarded or something. Here come here and drink some tainted Kool – Aide its poisoned but you should be okay as the EPA just raised the level of poison intake and while your at it buy some stocks with the rest of your monies!!

  2. Mariposa de Oro says:

    They must think we are all just retarded or something. ~ Can you blame them?  I mean we DID vote for Hope-N-Change didn’t we?  And we still allow it to run the country into the ground, don’t we?  There’s a price to be paid for stupidity and the bill is coming due very soon…….

  3. TnAndy says:

    Can’t see where the comments have anything to do with earthquakes, but UltraShort S&P ( SPXU ) is up 5% today.
    Bring on the crash.

  4. whitewash says:

    I hope everyone here that’s reads this site (blog) is fully prepared for the “SHTF”……….BECAUSE.. WE… ARE …NOW….. IN ……”SHTF “…..MODE….
    We are going to have breadlines & soup kitchens in this country before the end of the year…….for the sheeple that did not prepare for this coming human crisis……………

  5. Watch an amazing video of a street scene in San Francisco just days before the earthquake in 1906. Go to March 27th on my web site http://myverybeststuff.com.

  6. durango kidd says:

    Isn’t the San Francisco airport built on reclaimed land in the Bay?

  7. durango kidd says:

    Davis Mauldin: Interesting but the first seven minutes of the video on that link was uneventful. The NEXT video had the aftermath.

  8. Anonymous says:

    California -156 years ago! Do you know what happened this week back in 1850, in California ?
    California became a state.
    The State had no electricity.
    The State had no money.
    Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
    There were gun fights in the streets.
    So basically, it was just like California today except the women had real breasts and men didn’t hold hands.

  9. SmokinOkie says:

    Anonymous, you crack me up!!
    A big quake in San Francisco today would probably result in billions of dollars worth of improvement for the state. I read an interesting book a few yrs ago about how the civic leaders in SanFran tried to suppress the news following the fire. Something about not wanting to scare off tourists or investers from the city. I guess the PR spin meisters were at it even back then.

  10. James Woroble Jr says:

    The radiation being continuously deposited upon the SF area from the Japan nuke catastrophe will eventually make this look like a fender bender.
    Highest Yet: 78 pCi/l of Iodine-131 found in raw milk from San Francisco Bay Area

    Highest Yet: Cesium-134 in Northern California topsoil at 250% level of previous test

    Highest Yet: UCB finds 13+ pCi/l of Cesium-137 in store-bought milk from San Francisco Bay Area


  11. James Woroble Jr says:

    3,000 dead?
    Eventually,ten times this number will die from cancer annually from radioactive isotope ingestion. Ad infinitum!
    New UC Berkeley Topsoil Tests Double Cesium 134
    And let’s not ignore the deposits upon the Central Valley which provides the bulk of fruits and vegetables to America! ‘Preping’ has never become more crucial since now you must obtain ‘pre-nuke’ foodstuffs before a no food crisis!


  12. James Woroble Jr says:

    Radioactive Fukushima Plutonium And Strontium Bombarding US West Coast Since March 18th

    Lucas Hixton Whitefield tips us off to the fact that the EPA has been detecting Plutonium and Strontium along the entire US West Coast since March 18th.

    I will update this post with a more accessible output of the data but in the mean time there is a Google spreadsheet of the EPA Radnet data set at the link.