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In Photos: The Great San Francisco Earthquake

Image of San Francisco

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed most of the city and left 250,000 people homeless. This full panorama of San Francisco, California, was taken July 29, 1904, less than two years before the Great Earthquake of 1906 on April 18.

Post-Earthquake

(Image credit: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer--Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity)

This full panorama of San Francisco, California, was taken April 18, 1906, within hours of the San Francisco Earthquake.

Disbelief

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

A man looks on in disbelief at the devastation around him, at the sunken area on Market Street near Ferry building. April 20, 1906.

Force of Nature

(Image credit: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer--Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity)

Most buildings in San Francisco were severely damaged or lay in ruins.

Swallowed in the Ground

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

The intensity of the earthquake sent the Agassiz statue, at Stanford University smashing head-first into the ground.

Torn Apart

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

This is what remained of the Hibernia bank building.

In Ruins

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

After disaster struck, this is what remained of the earthquake-wrecked City Hall building.

Ground Shift

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

After the earthquake, deep secondary cracks filled the land on Bluxom Street near Sixth Street. View is west.

Near Collapse

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

This photo was taken from the east side of Howard Street near 17th Street, shortly after the earthquake struck. All houses shifted toward the left. The tall house dropped from its south foundation wall and leaned against its neighbor.

All that Remains

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

Nothing remains except the Donahue Monument, on Bush and Battery Streets, after the earthquake. The photo was taken April 20, 1906.

Unstable Ground

(Image credit: Photo Courtesy of USGS)

Street car tracks suffered massive damage.