Tuesday, April 18, 2006
100th Anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake
Today is the anniversary of the great earthquake that destroyed San Francisco in 1906.
Here are links to a few really useful sites with information about that earthquake, as well as earthquakes in general.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:The Great 1906 Earthquake, 100 years later
This link in particular is really cool: A Virtual Tour of the 1906 Earthquake in Google Earth. The picture below shows the location of the quake and the distribution of slip along the fault during the quake.
I think the most important message to learn from this Centennial is that the 1906 earthquake was not a unique event. It wasn't even an unusual event. Earthquakes like this have occurred many times in the past, and they'll continue to occur as long as the Pacific plate continues to move against the North American plate.
I do think that the Bay Area of 2006 is much better prepared than the Bay Area of 1906, although there is still work to do. I've linked to Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country before, but it's worth repeating. There is a lot that you can do to make your home safer. Pay a visit to your local hardware store, they'll probably have a display of material that you can use to secure your water heater, pictures, and furniture, not to mention smaller items (I've been using a sort of putty to secure vases, candles, etc. to the shelves they're resting on).
I think it's appropriate to end this message with a remembrance for the people who died to the earthquake, as well as the people who helped to rebuild the city.