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San Francisco County, California Genealogy Trails
1906 Great Earthquake in San Francisco California
Newspaper Articles


April 18, 1906

Aberdeen Daily News, Aberdeen South Dakota

DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE ON PACIFIC COAST--MANY ARE KILLED
Chicago, April 18-The Scripps McRae Press Association secured the first direct communication with San Francisco this morning, the correspondent saying: "The greatest earthquake in history of the city. Scores of buildings are ruined. The Lick House is wrecked and other hotels damaged. The loss of life is great. Detailed information is unattainable on account of the panic stricken condition of the people. The city is at the mercy of conflagrations."

Worst In History
San Francisco, April 18- A disastrous earthquake occurred this morning. The Postal Telegraph Company's building is wrecked. Many houses are wrecked and many ignited. The water mains are broken and the water supply shut off. Communication is interrupted.
    At 5:10 this morning occurred the most terrific and calamitous earthquake in the history of the Pacific coast. Buildings toppled and fell in every direction. The police are carrying the dead from the ruins. Fire broke out in the wholesale houses near the water front and in other localities, and there is no water to fight it owing to the breaks in the mains. The city is menaced by a conflagration.
    At 7:30 communication by a single wire was restored to Ashfork, Ariz, and Los Angeles. All power lines in the city are wrecked. The Pacific cable is not damaged, but the loss of power has crippled the communication. It is still dangerous to remains in office buildings.
    It is reported that many hundreds were killed south of Market street, where several disastrous fires are raging. There is no damage of a serious nature or loss of life in the residence district.
    The shock was felt as far south as Santa Barbara, but was not felt at Los Angeles.
    The fire is now within one block of the Palace Hotel, the largest caravansary in the world.
        MANY CONFLICTING RUMORS
    The estimates of the number of dead vary. Reports are confusing and conflicting, but it is believed that at least 2,000 persons are dead. The reports centering at the police headquarters are appalling, but most of them have been verified.
    Application has been made to the United States government for transports to take the bodies of the victims to be buried at sea. Many are so mutilated that it is impossible to care for them ashore.
    Cities across the bay from San Francisco were severely shaken by the earthquake. The suburban fire departments are fighting many fires.
        SHOCK AT SACRAMENTO
    Ashforks, Ariz., April 18-It is reported that an earthquake this morning at 7:55 killed several persons at Sacramento.
        FELT AT WASHINGTON
    Washington, April 18- The instruments of the weather bureau recorded a slight earthquake here this morning. It was not noticed except by the zismograph.
    The war department was in communication with San Francisco for two minutes this morning. The operator said the disaster was great, over 1,000 persons having been killed. A fire is raging.
        COVERED FIFTY BLOCKS
    Area Covered by Damage in San Francisco A Large One
    New York, April 18-The Postal Telegraph Company is advised that the area covered by the earthquake at San Francisco is about fifty blocks, in which all the buildings were practically destroyed. The greatest damage done was east and south of Market street to the bay. Many manufacturing enterprises are located in this district. Trains were turned over on the rails by the earthquake.
        OVER THOUSAND DEAD
    New Orleans, April 18-Southern Pacific wires say that over 1,000 persons are dead in San Francisco. The fire is spreading.
NOBODY HURT AT SACRAMENTO
        Shock Was Severe But No Lives Were Lost.
    Sacramento, Cal., April 18-The strongest earthquake shock in fifteen years occurred in this city at 5:15 this morning, lasting three minutes. The entire cit was awakened by the quake, and there was a panic in the hotels. Several large cracks were made in the federal building foundations. Communication was broken for three hours. There is no new from San Francisco.
WHOLE CITY IN DANGER
       San Francisco Being Destroyed by Fire and Repeated Earthquake Shocks-People Fleeing
    Chicago, April 18-According to dispatches received here, the entire city of San Francisco is being destroyed by fire and frequent earthquakes. The flames are working toward the docks, unmolested.
    From the highest elevation of San Jose, twenty-five miles away, the city can be seen ablaze. At 11:43 it is estimated that 1,100 lives had been lost.
    The last shock was felt at 8:17. The ferries are all engaged in carrying people to Oakland and other places of safety. Thousands are fleeing from the city in a panic. Many drop on the streets.
    Western Union dispatches say that the Western Union and Postal Telegraph buildings are destroyed. The Palace Hotel has been attacked by the blaze. It is now estimated that 2,000 are dead.
    A commercial dispatch says that the modern steel buildings are not damaged, but the buildings of frame and brick are completely wrecked.


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