On the demoralizing day of April 18th, 1906, the worst natural disaster in the nation struck San Francisco. Although, the earthquake only lasted a moment, it caused a great deal of damage to San Francisco and neighboring cities. The earthquake registered as and 8.25 on the Richter scale; in comparison, the earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1989 was 6.7 on the scale. This great quake changed the life of thousands, even though it only lasted a moment. The earthquake produced fires that lasted up to four days. It damaged buildings, and injured loved ones of the people in San Francisco. The 1906 earthquake has three parts; earthquake and fire, damage, and re-building.
On April 18th of 1906 most San Francisco residents were sleeping peacefully in their beds or getting ready for another day of work. But at 5:12 o" clock in the morning, when the first foreshock hit, that all changed. Around 5:13 o" clock in the morning, the earthquake shook the ground for almost a minute. The earthquake shock was felt from Coos Bay, Oregon to Los Angeles and as Far East as Central Nevada; and area of about 375,000 square miles, at about half of which was in the Pacific Ocean. A major aftershock occurred at approximately 8:14 o" clock in the morning; it caused the collapse of many already damaged buildings and much panic. Although the earthquake ranks as one of the most devastating earthquakes of all time the greatest damage done to the city was caused by the fires that were started afterward. There were over 50 fires in different locations that were ignited that morning. Some of the fires were started by electric wires, or overturned stoves from the earthquakes. Firemen believe that there were probably even more fires that were put out by residents of the households. The fires burned form April 18 all the way to April 21, when the fires were all extinguished. Many landmarks; such as, the Winchester hotel was started on fire and eventually collapsed.