The earthquake occurred at 5:13 a.m. local time, with its epicenter offshore of San Francisco, which then had a population of approximately 400,000 people.
The greatest devastation resulted from the fires that quickly followed the quake. The initial tremors destroyed the city’s water mains, leaving firefighters with no means of combating the growing blaze, which burned for several days and consumed much of the city. More than 3,000 people perished and more than 28,000 buildings were destroyed in the disaster. Additionally, some 250,000 of San Francisco’s residents were made homeless. Damages were estimated at around $500 million (in 1906 dollars).
With earthquakes at historic levels, the State of Oklahoma wants you to know when the next “Big One” happens. You can pick up your free “Earthquake Detection Device” at any State or Local government office. Some assembly will be required.