San Francisco earthquake fire. Smoke rising from the fires that destroyed much of downtown San Francisco, California, USA, following the large earthquake that occurred nearby on the San Andreas fault on 18 April 1906. This view is from the St Francis Hotel on 18 April, looking towards the Call Building (the tall building at centre). The earthquake struck in the early morning. The fires were caused by the earthquake and burnt for several days over an area of several square kilometres. It is estimated that 28,000 buildings were destroyed, over 3000 people killed, and up to 300,000 left homeless. The earthquake and fire was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the USA. This was one of the first major disasters to be recorded by photography.
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