Geology, Period 4
15 September 2011
1906 S.F. Earthquake Essay
The 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake is one of the worst earthquake’s to happen yet. The magnitude was believed to be about a 7.8 on the Richter scale. What made it so destructive wasn’t just the magnitude of the earthquake but the fact that the fires were uncontrollable. These factors led to the San Francisco quake to be know as a tragedy.
San Francisco was a large city of a population of about four hundred thousand. Therefore because the city was so populated it made it harder for people to evacuate. The main source of evacuating people out of the city was a ferry provided for free. Since they didn’t have many freeways and bridges there was not many ways t evacuate beside the ferries. Comparing this to a future earthquake waiting to happen such as the San Andreas fault, it is going to be much more difficult to evacuate when that earthquake hits. The earthquake will destruct many of the freeways, bridges, and on-ramps. Previous earthquakes have shown us that those types of structures are vulnerable to the shaking. This means that trying to evacuate the city by car will be almost impossible and since we are not located right next to the ocean means that evacuating will put us in a dilemma.
One factor that made the San Francisco earthquake have numerous fires was due to the gas lines being ruptured and destroyed. When the earthquake hit it ruptured many of the gas lines. When they broke it started fires in different parts of the city. Since the city didn’t have good communication lines many of the fires would not be attended until they built up momentum and grew stronger. If the gas lines were ruptured in the San Francisco earthquake who’s to say the same thing wont happen to the earthquake soon to occur on the San Andreas fault? Since the gas lines are underground there is not much we can do to prevent them from being ruptured in a massive earthquake....