About San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake:
—April 18, 1906, 5:12am, the deadliest earthquake in United States history struck San Francisco. Known as the Great Quake, estimates of its magnitude range from 7.7 to 8.3.
—Fires ignited immediately after the temblor. The inferno lasted three days and nights, causing more damage than the earthquake.
—Because water mains were broken, the fire department resorted to using dynamite in a futile effort to stop the fire. Frequent explosions terrified the surviving people and animals in the city.
—It’s now believed approximately 3,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake and fires, while about 15,000 people were injured.
—More than half the population of the city was left homeless. About 410,000 people lived in San Francisco at the time of the quake. Refugees stayed in city parks and at the Presidio Army Camp.
—A historic evacuation took place after the earthquake. Southern Pacific Railroad offered free transportation to move refugees out of the city’s ruins. The railroad company reported 300,000 people were evacuated by their trains.
—The last remaining survivor, William “Bill” Del Monte, died in early 2016, just eleven days short of his 110th birthday. He was only three months old when the Great Quake struck. It destroyed his family’s Italian restaurant. They escaped their burning neighborhood in a horse-drawn carriage. His family reopened their San Francisco restaurant in a tent until they could rebuild it.