These Powerful Photos Shed New Light On The Deadly 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

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Image: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

It’s early on an April morning in 1906 in San Francisco, California. Most of the city is still asleep, but suddenly, the peace is shattered by an almighty roar. For miles around, buildings begin to shake and crumble, as the streets are rent apart by one of the greatest disasters to ever hit the United States. And now, the true scale of the tragedy has been revealed.

Image: Arnold Genthe/Getty Images

Then as the shock of the earthquake subsides, something even worse springs up to take its place. And for four days, a deadly fire ravages the broken city. By the time that the flames are finally extinguished, the face of San Francisco has changed for good. Indeed, hundreds of blocks have been reduced to a smoldering ruin.

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Image: Harry A. Baker

But despite the scale of the destruction, the American people remained undaunted by the disaster. And as they mourned an estimated 700 victims, they focused on rebuilding the Golden City. Years later, however, the death toll was estimated to be over 3,000 – and the incident is remembered as the deadliest quake that California has ever seen.

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