The direct effects of earthquakes could range from building collapses to the destruction of the infrastructure on the hindrance to water supplies and the water purification infrastructures. This paper highlights the details and the circumstances that followed the earthquake in San Francisco in the year 1906 and also the fire that broke out in the aftermath of the event. Further, we delve into how the earthquake later turned around to affect the environment, economy and the society of the area where the earthquake mainly struck and also the impact that it had on the surrounding areas.
How it all began
Early on the morning of April 18, 1906, the residents of San Francisco woke up to violent jolts of the shaking ground and experienced a near-apocalypse that lasted for a length of 40 seconds. After a momentary pause, the shaking of the ground and the moving and shattering of things restarted and this time, the shock lasted for about 25 seconds. During the entire ordeal, the streets filled up with stunned residents of the city and shouts and cries rose from the victims that had become trapped or injured in the duration of the earthquake. Experts later estimated the earthquake to be between a magnitude of 7.8 and 8.3 which had resulted from the North American and the Pacific tectonic plates progressing past one another by a distance of more than 15 feet which is completely mind boggling compared to the annual 2 inches movement. 
The aftershocks of the earthquake naturally carried on, and it wasn’t long after a fire had broken out and caused structural damage to countless buildings in the San Francisco. The disaster had leveled most of the construction in the city center and had resulted in an estimated damage of 20 million dollars within the city and an estimated 4 million on the outskirts. Apart from the monetary loss, the earthquake also left 200,000 people homeless and more than 3,000 dead. 
The response to the disaster
Oakland was the city that has caught the last of some of the disaster that had struck the city of San Francisco, but with careful planning and effective management of the problem, the people had regained control over the fire and other damages within the city pretty soon. So in the three days following the great earthquake, more than a 100,000 people entered Oakland by various means of transportation, a population so large that it had doubled the city’s entire population of the day. These people had little to pay for food and clothing and therefore, various churches came forward in offering relief to all those who had become the victims of the disaster. 
Like the earthquake itself, the effects that the environment suffered because of it were pretty significant as well. The biggest and the greatest effect of the earthquake was the fire that has broken out in the city. It was because of this fire that a lot of the west coast forests had become depleted, and countless draft horses had toiled to death in the need to rebuild the city.  Another aftermath of the earthquake was the migration of innumerable people from their homes in pursuit of survival and that had later resulted in a considerable amount of pressure on the resources of the cities that people were migrating towards. Even after the situation had become close to normal for most of the people, the shortage of resources including food and water was a consequence that had taken many subsequent years to restock.
The effects of the earthquake also include the destruction of buildings, and the San Francisco earthquake was no exception. There were many who had died from a fire that followed the quake but collapsed buildings had also claimed many lives. Science says that an earthquake can damage more if the period of the ground becomes the same as that of the building. Any abnormal seismic activity could also lead to the bending or the deformation of the buildings which could compromise the structures of the buildings and make them susceptible to future collapses. While on one hand, the seismic activity could compromise buildings, landmarks, and railroads, they could also result in other environmental consequences like landslides, soil liquefaction, floods, and fires. 
Impacts on the society
The impacts of the society that were the result of the San Francisco earthquake have been discussed in great detail in many types of research and studies. Many of these impacts are natural and quite common with the many other earthquakes that came. The greatest one of these is the displacements of hundreds of thousands of people from their houses in search of shelter and the basics of life. There were many people who were left with hardly any money to buy the provisions that they required for survival and because since a great fire had also followed, people had to leave not just their homes but also their cities in pursuit of survival. Another very major impact was that most of the city were wiped off of the face of the earth and in the following the destruction and all the consequences that resulted therefrom, the city had to be built from the ground up to make it habitable. Even though there was no formal plan prior to the rebuilding, the city that came into being following the old one was very different from that which had been destroyed. All the water supplies and sewers that had become non-functional were fixed and up and running again. There was little time to plan and build the city in a way that many had fantasized and envisioned, and so the new city of San Francisco had come to be. 
Figure 1 
In the earthquake, the people were not the only ones who had lost all of their wealth and belongings. The nation had lost a great fortune as well. There was a city that had ceased to exist in a matter of days. The monetary loss of the event could hardly be measured by the value that could be placed on the buildings of the burndown San Francisco city. The various relief agencies had given many of the destitute citizens very close to 3 million dollars, and the homeless people were provided shelter in temporary wooden cottages in many of the city parks. Many of the financial analysts of the time had noted that the sum cleared from the banks had reached 30 million dollars and many of the horses at the time had died in labor rebuilding the city from ashes. 
Figure 2 
San Francisco may have become a new city after the disaster that it had suffered, but the effects on many families were very much permanent and in many of the cases, those effects were hard to recover from. Earthquakes do little good and cause a lot of destruction to property and to people, but they are still the way of nature. The best we can do therefore is just be prepared.
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