Big news! No earthquake in San Francisco today!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Doctor Q, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
    We made it to the end of the day, and San Francisco has not been shaken to its core or burned to the ground.

    April 18, 2006 marks 100 years since the magnitude 7.8 (some say 7.9) earthquake shook the city on April 18, 1906. Fires started by the quake spread for three days through the mostly-wooden buildings and destroyed most of downtown San Francisco and adjacent areas.

    There are many astounding facts and figures about the disaster, which was one of the first to be photographed. The initial quake lasted less than a minute but was felt in Los Angeles and even detected in Japan! At least 55%, perhaps as high as 75%, of the population was left homeless. If you adjust for inflation, the amount of money spent on relief in 1906 was greater than any subsequent nationwide disaster. The remaining survivors still gather annually at 5:12 am to commemorate the event (news story).

    Congratulations to San Franciscans for surviving 100 years!

    Wikipedia article

    Photo from the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

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  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #3
    There's still another hour and fifteen minutes left...don't count your chickens just yet.

    Edit: Way to sneak that edit in there, EricNau, though it's only 22:45! ;)
     
  4. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #4
    After 1906, much of the rebuilding of the city of San Francisco was done without building codes, until the 1950s. Why? Because making safer buildings cost more time and money.

    As a result, there are a lot of buildings not prepared for the next big quake. Because it's on the bay, San Francisco could be isolated from other cities if bridges or highways collapse. Even if rescue crews from other cities can get there to help, I heard (but couldn't confirm) that San Francisco has water hydrants that don't fit the hoses that surrounding cities have standardized on. So firefighters who come from other cities would have to have the right adapters with them. That's a bit worrisome.

    We Californians mostly accept earthquakes as a fact of life, and merely worrying won't help. But personal preparedness (got water stored in the house?), government disaster planning and drills, and continued seismic retrofitting are useful steps. And perhaps they should spend a little each year on converting those water hydrants to standard connectors.

    There has been no quake in the bay area near magnitude 8 in the last 100 years, so a large strain has built up on the San Andreas Fault, which still runs below the city. If we're lucky, it will release a bit at a time, rather than all at once. I'll keep my fingers crossed. That fault runs under my city (Los Angeles) too!
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    Really, I had that as my original post, and then thought today was the 19th (which would make me look stupid), so I changed it to "..." as quick as I could, and then to "that's good," and then realizing it was in fact the 18th (thank you calendar widget), I changed it back to the original. ;)

    Sounds crazy, but it's true.
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

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    #6
    Yes, we have a number of fire hydrants for three-inch hoses, whereas the standard is 2.5 inches. The SFFD touts that they allow them to pump more water, which is true, but none of the surrounding counties have such connectors.

    Rather than spending a few bucks to put adapters that would accommodate both size hoses on the affected hydrants, their plan is to distribute the adapters to outside fire units at the city entry points as the units come in to help.

    Because things are definitely going to be that well organized when The Big One hits... :rolleyes:
     
  7. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

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  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

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    #8
    Nope...looks like it was fun though!

    I can't believe all the people who showed up at 5:00 AM for the official ceremony...that's just too early for me.
     
  9. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #9
    I had ancestors living in San Francisco in 1906. I wish they were still around to interview about it. One was a kid in 1906, but old enough to remember the experience and be afraid of earthquakes the rest of her life. A great grandmother on my father's side of the family.

    For those who aren't afraid and don't want to wait for the next big earthquake, you can make your own. Choose the proper building engineering so this doesn't happen:
     

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  10. EricNau Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    I remember going to the Planetarium in SF where you can experience this quake on their simulator. It didn't seem like much just standing on it, but I can imagine if the whole city was shaking like that how devastating it could be.
     
  11. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #11
    Except for, of course, the approximately 63 people who died in the Bay Area earthquake in 1989...

    So, there wasn't another earthquake exactly 100 years after the last one. Big woop. Most scientists agree that another big quake there is not a matter of if, but simply when. It will happen.
     
  12. Ish macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Hope they don't keep them in the city.
     
  13. dmw007 macrumors G4

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    #13
    Rather scary when you think about it. Hopefully San Francisco will be spared from ever having another 1906 size quake though. :)
     
  14. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    #14
    Poor people. :(

    I wonder how many died just of sickness...

    :(
     
  15. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

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    #15
    I am surprised people still choose to live there.
     
  16. vniow macrumors G4

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    #17
    Great, to think I stuck myself at home all day when I had the day off. :rolleyes:

    Hmm, in the Midwest there's tornadoes regularly, in the South there's hurricanes just about every year, the climate around here sucks at the moment but its worse in most other places (I've been pampered by no real winter for the past 6 years) so I think most of us here can take an earthquake every 80 years or so.
     
  17. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #18
    Good ol new england in which no major bad weather occurs. Just snow
     
  18. devilot Moderator emeritus

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    #19
    I'll never ever forget that one... It was terrifying.
     
  19. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

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    #20
    Of course they do...probably in the basement of the shakiest building in the city if they're true to form.
     
  20. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Got that right. I'm in NC for school, but Connecticut is the place to be. Except for those pesky snow monsters...
     

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  21. xsedrinam macrumors 601

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    #22
    I watched a special on the SFO earthquake and fire on PBS a couple of nights ago. I'd remembered reading about the "ham and eggs" fire, but the documentary really got in to telling some of the personal and political history of the city before, during and after. I think it's a great credit to the industrious people of San Francisco that they were able to rebuild in less than a decade and subsequently host the 1915 World's Fair.
     
  22. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

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    #23
    And it's going to be at least 25 years after the Loma Prieta quake damaged the eastern span of the Bay Bridge that we'll have a replacement...hope they get it done before the next big quake.
     
  23. dmw007 macrumors G4

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    #24
    Good point Transic. :)
     
  24. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #25
    Dennis Sullivan, the Fire Department's Chief Engineer in 1906, wanted to upgrade the water system to prepare for a fire and had warned the city about the potential for a large conflagration, but his ideas were shot down for monetary reasons. Save a nickel, lose a city. And he was one of the first to die in the quake, when an adjacent theater building collapsed into his fire station (here on the map).
     

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