1906 Earthquake

1906 Earthquake

Announcement Date: April 13, 1906

No alarm sounded for the greatest disaster that ever devastated San Francisco. The first jarring shock of the earthquake that struck the City on the morning of April 18, 1906 broke five hundred and fifty-six of the six hundred batteries that operated the fire alarm system, effectively silencing it.

Within a few hours, fifty-two fires had started. Before the flames were extinguished three days later, an estimated four hundred and seventy eight persons were dead, and the property loss was over $350,000,000. The area burned was 4.7 square miles, which included the entire downtown section. Twenty-eight thousand buildings had been destroyed by the combined destructiveness of the earthquake and fire.