April 1906: the aftermath of a disaster

A massive earthquake hit San Francisco, USA on the 18th of April, 1906. The fires that it sparked lasted days and devastated the city.

This image shows the community rallying together in the middle of the destruction.

5 Times San Francisco Was Almost Destroyed

On April 18, 1906, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States shook San Francisco. Though the quake was bad, 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the fires


On this day: the Newcastle Earthquake

At 10:27am on the 28th of December, 1989, an earthquake hit Newcastle, Australia. Measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, the quake caused around $4 billion damage to the New South Wales city, left thirteen people dead, and injured over 160 others.



Nine people were killed in the Newcastle Workers Club, where the floor collapsed.



As there was a bus strike the day of the disaster, fewer people than usual were in town.

On this day: the Charlevoix-Kamouraska Earthquake

The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake took place in north-eastern North America on the 28th of February, 1925.

Le Soleil reports on the 1925 Charlevoix-Kamouraska Earthquake

The epicentre of the quake was in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska area along the Saint Lawrence River.

Damage in Shawinigan, Quebec, from the February 28, 1925, Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake.

Damage in Shawinigan, Quebec.

Reaching 6.2 on the Moment magnitude scale, the worst of the damage occurred in three separate areas of Quebec, Canada.


On this day: ChristChurch Cathedral and the Earthquake

ChristChurch Cathedral, Christchurch New Zealand. 1900.

ChristChurch Cathedral in 1900

On the 22nd of February, 2011 Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, was hit by a major earthquake. 185 people were killed and much of the city’s centre was severely damaged or destroyed.

Included in the damage was ChristChurch Cathedral.

Sir George Gilbert Scott

Sir George Gilbert Scott

The cathedral was built between 1864 and 1904, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a world-renowned English Gothic revival architect.

The Canterbury region the city of Christchurch is in has been hit by many earthquakes over the years, and the cathedral had also been damaged in 1881, 1888, 1901, 1922, and only five and a half months earlier, in 2010.

In 2011, however, the damage was severe, bringing down the spire and half of the tower, collapsing part of the roof, and causing other structural damage.

800px-ChristChurch_Cathedral_(02),_July_2012Helicopter flight over Christchurch, July 2012.

July 2012

ChristChurch Cathedral Christchurch New Zealand Post-Earthquake

Via Google Street View

Since February 2011, the church has largely been in favour of pulling the remains of the building down, while others in the community have fought a long – sometimes legal – battle to preserve the city’s most iconic structure.

On this day: the Kingston earthquake in 1907

Kingston_(1907) View of Kingston Jamaica damaged after the earthquake in 1907

Kingston in 1907, showing destroyed buildings. Source

On the 14th of January, 1907 an earthquake struck Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica.

Hitting at 3:30pm and measuring 6.5 on the moment magnitude scale, the earthquake killed between eight-hundred and a thousand people and flattened 85% of the buildings in the area.

Following the earthquake a fire broke out, causing more damage. A tsunami hit soon afterwards, flooding the lower parts of town.

On this day: the 1868 Arica earthquake

On the 13th of August, 1868, a magnitude 8.5 or 9 earthquake near Arica, Peru (now Chile) killed more than 25 000 people and destroyed much of the southern part of the country.

Arica after the earthquake (1868)

Damage in Arica in 1868

The tsunami(s) that followed crossed the Pacific Ocean and had effects as far away as Australia and Japan.

USS Wateree (1863) beached at Arica after she was deposited there by a tidal wave on 13 August 1868. Her iron hull was reasonably intact but salvage was not economical and she was sold where she lay.

USS Wateree beached in Arica

The tsunami drove three ships, two of them US ships, 800 metres inland, and did significant damage both in New Zealand (where it also killed one person) and Hawaii.