I Feel The Earth Quack Under My Feet

Commemorating the Great San Francisco Earthquake

With David Backman

April 18, 2006

Early in the morning of April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m., the earth under San Francisco moved suddenly, and violently.  The city was devastated by an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 to 8.3, precipitating the death of 3,000 to 6,000 people, although the government at the time only publicly reported 478 deaths.  The city quickly found itself on fire from ruptured gas lines, so buildings not already brought down by the shaking were ready fodder for the sweeping fires.

Since 1915, the city has annually commemorated the earthquake at Lotta's Fountain - a fountain in the financial district that served as a makeshift information point, where citizens gathered to exchange news and try to find loved ones. 2006 marked the centennial of one of the greatest natural disasters to ever hit the United States.

And Dave and NOT were there.

There sure are a lot of people here for 5 a.m.

NOT held high to get a better view of the fountain.

Both NOT and Dave crossed their fingers that they would never have to make their way to the fountain through a shattered city.


North American Travel

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Photos courtesy of David Backman

Last Updated July 2006