The Great San Francisco Earthquake And Firestorm

1621 words - 6 pages

San Francisco was a very opulent city during the 19th century due to the gold rush, the city was thriving and booming and more than 400,000 people residing in this area but the dynamics of this change when at 5:12 am April 1906.1 Powerful devastation ultimately gripped California in April 1906. The Great San Francisco Earthquake is number as one the most powerful devastation in the United Sates.2 On this despondent day many lives were taken and the costs of damages were very exorbitant. The implications were very profound and tumultuous. A forceful seismic shock ripple through San Francisco at the magnitude of 7.8. Some researchers claim that the magnitude of this earthquake could possibly up to 8.3. 3 There were two earthquakes that occurred on this day, the first one was not as potent as second one causing unprecedented damages. This earthquake was one never seen before one and people were indeed flabbergasted by its power.
More profoundly people tabulated the first earthquake as: "it hurled my bed against an opposite wall," wrote Emma Burke, the wife of a local attorney. "It grew constantly worse, the noise deafening; the crash of dishes, falling pictures, the rattle of the flat tin roof, bookcases being overturned, the piano hurled across the parlor, the groaning and straining of the building itself, broken glass and falling plaster, made such a roar that no one noise could be distinguished."1 The first seismic shock also resulted in wooden houses being severely damaged, and decrepit brick buildings felled to the ground. The earthquake impacted the San Andreas Fault engendering buildings to crumble into pieces such as hotels. Hotels that were impacted included the Valencia Street Hotel.The powerful earthquake annihilated water and sewer pipelines running through the area. Not only that, telephone lines and dependable transportation was heavily impacted such as railways.1 The force was so great that it could be felt outside of San Francisco. Other areas that were impacted includes: Southern California, western Nevada, and southern California. The force became omnipresent throughout that San Francisco area. The vibrations of this earthquake went from 45 to 60 seconds. The earthquake would halt for 10 seconds and the after that the force would become much stronger for 25 seconds. 3 The Great San Francisco Earthquake created a break in the ground that exceeded more than 200 miles. According to the Modified Mercalli Intensities (MMI's) of VII to IX corresponding to the length of the rupture, it reached as far as 80 kilometers inland from the fault trace.2
The second earthquake ultimately resulted in a plethora of firestorms after 30 hours of the first seismic shock and the annihilation of buildings became more severe. 3 The firestorm grew immensely big and swept through the city. The firestorm reach up to 2,000 degrees.1 buildings that were very well consolidated were destroyed by the emerging firestorm. The firestorm destroyed local...

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