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San Francisco Earthquake (1906)

  • By: Alex Altshuler
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which occurred on April 18, was characterized by a very high magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale. It directly caused more than 700 deaths, with estimates of about 3,000 deaths caused directly or indirectly by the earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area. More than 225,000 people from a population of about 400,000 became homeless. In terms of building environment, 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the earthquake and the subsequent fires. Regarding the monetary loss, it was estimated at that time to be about $400 million. These figures describe the severe humanitarian consequences following this earthquake, one of the most devastating in U.S. history.

The earthquake caused a rupture on the northern third of the ...

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