The San Francisco Earthquake Of 1906

analytical Essay
986 words
986 words

In the early twentieth century, San Francisco, a bustling city full of people from diverse cultures, stood in the midst of the Second Industrial Revolution. At this time, the brilliant inventions of airplanes, automobiles, and radios were changing the everyday lives of many. San Francisco had just recovered from the four-year burden of the bubonic plague (“Bubonic”). However, right when things were going back to normal, a destructive earthquake hit the city on April 18, 1906. Although the shaking lasted for less than a minute, the devastated city had crumbled buildings and a substantial loss of lives. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 consisted not only of earthquakes, but also of even more destructive fires; it had a scarring effect on the city and its people, yet it gave much of the knowledge that seismologists have today and allowed San Francisco to stand as a place of intriguing buildings and structures.
From studying the science behind the San Francisco earthquake, scientists have made a number of important discoveries involving how earthquakes function. At 5:12 on a fateful April morning in 1906, the mammoth Pacific and North American plates sheared each other at an incredible twenty-one feet along the San Andreas fault, surpassing the annual average of two inches (“San Francisco Earthquake of 1906”) (“The Great 1906 Earthquake and Fires”). A few seconds later, the destructive earthquake occurred. The ground shifted at almost five feet per second, and the shaking could be felt all the way from southern Oregon to southern Los Angeles to central Nevada (“Quick”) (“The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake”). In fact, the earthquake could be registered in a seismograph on Capetown, South Africa, an astounding 10,236 miles away...

... middle of paper ... caused the city to crumble and the government to pay extreme amounts of money. In addition, residents of San Francisco and other surrounding areas suffered as a result. Thousands died, but even more faced the encumbrance of homelessness. As if that could not worsen, fires went on afterward for as long as three days. Nevertheless, San Francisco transformed like a phoenix; its ashes turned into a beautiful city full of fascinating buildings in a matter of months. 1906, a year of a significant natural disaster, also became a year that spawned knowledge in the field of seismology. No one will ever forget the appalling chain of events that took place during the early twentieth century. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 has not only taught seismologists almost everything they now know, but it has also made San Francisco the jewel of the West Coast that it is today.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that san francisco was in the midst of the second industrial revolution, when a devastating earthquake hit the city on april 18, 1906.
  • Explains how the 1906 san francisco earthquake has affected the advanced knowledge in earthquakes that scientists have today.
  • Explains that san francisco's weak alarm system broke down during the first earthquake tremor, thus not a single alarm went off during three days and three nights the fires lasted.
  • Explains that san francisco was built in a haphazard manner, with weak building structures and rudimentary fire protection.
  • Analyzes how the 1906 san francisco earthquake devastated the city and its citizens. the earthquake and fires left 3,000 people dead and over 400,000 homeless, while the u.s. army provided basic necessities.
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