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San Franciscans remember the 1906 earthquake 118 years later

San Franciscans remember the 1906 earthquake 118 years later


Anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown commemorates the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

SAN FRANCISCO – On April 18, 1906, San Franciscans were awakened at 5:11 a.m. by what would become the deadliest earthquake in U.S. history.

On Thursday, 118 years later, city residents and first responders remembered those who lost their lives and the event that changed the city's future.

Residents and politicians, such as former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, laid a wreath at the Lota Fountain on Market Street, one of the last remaining landmarks before the quake.

One of the event organizers read out a timeline of events starting at 5:11 a.m. when the initial quake struck. Its magnitude was estimated at 7.9 and lasted 45 to 60 seconds.

More than 80% of the city was destroyed and more than 3,000 people died.

Twenty-six aftershocks rocked the city and fires burned for 74 hours in the days following the initial quake.

Now, people say it's a reminder of how resilient the city is.

“It reminds us how San Francisco was able to rise from the ashes,” said Joel Engaredo, San Francisco's 4th District Supervisor. “We need hope to pull us out of the cycles of doom and all the inevitable changes in our city that take us out of our comfort zones.”

At 6 a.m., after the speakers finished on Market Street, organizers headed to Dolores Park to the gold fire hydrant.

It was the only tap in the city that did not run dry in 1906 and saved the Mission District from destruction.

On Thursday, one spray at a time, it was given a new coat of gold.

While they celebrated the past, people also took time to reflect on the future and think about the next time a major earthquake strikes.

It's important to have all the necessary items you or your family needs to survive, such as spare batteries, solar chargers and medication for you and your pets, Mary Ellen Carroll said.




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