San Francisco’s 1906 Quake: What If It Struck Today?

San Francisco has had a hundred years to prepare for its next great quake, so the city must be ready, right? Not quite, say scientists. A century ago next week, a catastrophic earthquake and subsequent fire nearly wiped the California city off the map. If a similar quake struck today, almost 40 percent of San Francisco’s buildings would likely be destroyed, fires would again rage, bridges would fail, and the water supply could be completely severed, experts say.

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