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Calamity
 

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Early on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, the San Andreas Fault ruptured off the Northern California Coast, producing an earthquake felt from Oregon to Southern California. San Francisco, almost directly opposite the epicenter, bore the brunt of the shaking. The worst of the earthquake lasted less than a minute. In that time, wooden and unreinforced brick buildings throughout the city collapsed or suffered damage. Streets also buckled, severing water mains, disrupting public transportation and making response to the disaster difficult. Aftershocks compounded the damage, but by the time there was a far more serious problem — Fire.
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Collapsed Pillars at San Francisco's City Hall testify to the devastating effects of the earthquake.

Collapsed pillars at San Francisco's City Hall testify to the devastating effects of the earthquake.

As the earth moved under San Francisco, streets buckled and car tracks bent.

As the earth moved under San Francisco, streets buckled and car tracks bent.

Brick chimneys were especially susceptible to earthquake damage and had to be inspected and approved for use after April 18.

Brick chimneys were especially susceptible to earthquake damage and had to be inspected and approved for use after April 18.

Other communities suffered damage from the 1906 earthquake. In Oakland, unreinforced brick walls tumbled into the streets.

Other communities suffered damage from the 1906 earthquake. In Oakland, unreinforced brick walls tumbled into the streets.

San Jose suffered extensive earthquake damage as well. At the Agnews State Hospital 112 patients died when the building collapsed.

San Jose suffered extensive earthquake damage as well. At the Agnews State Hospital 112 patients died when the building collapsed.



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