1906 Earthquake

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Undoubtedly one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, set the stage for understanding earths forces and how to handle them effectively. San Francisco's transformation into a destroyed city, effective response to wide-spread disaster, and expensive reconstruction were all hurtles for the city to climb back to its previous economic power. Despite these challenges, San Francisco was able to rebuild itself into an even greater and more advanced power. The 1906 earthquake gave way to developments that continue to have a positive effect in today's society.
Following the start of California's Gold Rush in 1848, San Francisco rose to power as the largest and most successful city on the West Coast. The
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The destruction of the earthquake and the fires that followed resulted in the estimated death of more than 3,000 citizens, property damage of $400,000,000, and homeless population of 200,000. With nearly every building leveled and the majority of citizens scattered throughout the city, large companies and businesses were forced to shut down or relocate, damaging the city's economy even greater. As a result, nearly every citizen of San Francisco was left jobless and unable to care for themselves or their family. In addition to the sudden skyrocket in unemployment, a large sum of San Francisco's refugees in need of urgent care could no longer wait for municipal or federal support and began relocating in available sources of aid such as Oakland. In response, social developments like relief services in San Francisco and from around the country organized throughout the city in an attempt to keep its population from lowering any further by providing aid for victims…show more content…
The widespread damage of San Francisco effected every race and culture throughout the city at the time of the earthquake by leaving them with one thing in common, nothing. Extending from the rich to the poor, from the Chinese to the Italians, nearly every member of society had been left with only the belongings they were able to scavenge as they fled to safety. The New York Times remarked that the destruction caused from the earthquake left nearly half of San Francisco in ruins, 50,000 citizens homeless, and a property loss of more than $200,000,000. Shockingly, in addition to the immediate damage and loss of life caused by the earthquake, as more fires spread throughout the city the total number of citizens left homeless quadrupled and the value of property lost doubled. The remaining citizens of San Francisco who united as a community of survivors of this wide-scale crisis paved the way for the social developments that followed the earthquake. These individuals came to acknowledge that if they wanted to live, working together as a whole was the only way. Because nearly every home was in ruins and the ability to cook food was slim and illegal if indoors, previously
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