1906 Earthquake Research Paper

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Almost 3,000 people died and about 225,000 people were left homeless. This was the aftermath of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, a terrible disaster. On April 18, 1906, this disaster began at 5:12 a.m. and lasted from 60-65 seconds. The earthquake was estimated to be between a 7.8 and 8.3 magnitude (1906 San Francisco). Even though, the earthquake caused lot damage, the fires that resulted from it were even worse. The fires, alone, were worse than the earthquake itself. Because of the damage the disaster caused, it was considered to be one of the worst natural disasters that ever occurred in the United States. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 was considered to be one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States…show more content…
The significance of the earthquake mainly comes from the fires. As it was mentioned before, the earthquake itself caused only two percent of the damage, the fires caused the rest of the damage (Nobleman 5). Louise Slavicek, the author of the book, The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906, points out that “The inferno [the fire of 1906] . . . remains one of the worst urban fires in U.S. history” (76). One of the reasons for this is because the fire took out many buildings and landmarks. A landmark that was destroyed by the fire was the Palace Hotel, a 755 room and seven story hotel (Slavicek 63). This hotel was structurally designed to withstand the earthquake and it did, but the hotel was destroyed by the fire. To withstand earthquakes, it was built with 12 feet deep, pillar foundations built with 3,000 tons of reinforced iron woven into its two-feet-thick outer brick walls (Slavicek 36). But given even this, it was still consumed by fire. Therefore, if the fire can take down this well-constructed building, this disaster can surely be recorded as one of the worst in history of the United…show more content…
As a result sparks escaped and set her house on fire. This is why it is known as the “Ham and Eggs Fire” (Nobleman 21).The “Ham and Eggs Fire" was the fire that consumed the most property(Nobleman 17). It also consumed Mechanics’ Pavilion, the largest auditorium in San Francisco, which was being used as a hospital at that time (Slavicek 82-83). Now, why did these fires cause so much damage? Why could the fire fighters not extinguish them easily? The fires causes so much damage mainly because of the duration of them. The fires lasted for a total of about 72 hours or three days. (National Archives). The fires lasted this long because the original quake had shattered the underground supply pipes that carried water from distant reservoirs (Slavicek 9). So when the firefighters attempted to fight the fire and attached their hoses to a fire hydrant, nothing came out, there was no water. Also, the fires lasted that long because many of the firefighters that tried to stop the fires were inexperienced. San Francisco lost its beloved fire chief, Dennis Sullivan to the earthquake (Axelrod and Phillips). Due to this, when fire men tried to stop the fires using fire breaks they did not know how to create them properly, and had only succeeded in creating a bigger fire because of the dynamite. This became

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