1906-type earthquake could be devastating

Mar 17, 2006

If a similar magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit San Francisco as it did in 1906, the damage would be on the magnitude of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"There will be mass casualties. There will be losses of businesses and institutions," Rich Eisner, coastal region chief for the California Office of Emergency Services, said in a briefing Thursday for East Bay emergency managers. "Nobody will be safe."

Eisner said damages from such a earthquake are estimated at $122 billion, close to the costs of hurricanes Katrina and Rita that his the U.S. Gulf Coast last year, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported Friday.

A high magnitude earthquake would effectively make the Bay Area an island, since all highways and bridges would likely be impassable, its hospitals overwhelmed and outside help beyond reach because of fires, Eisner said.

"It is comparable to the worst natural disaster in American history," he said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Short, sharp shocks let slip the stories of supernovae

Related Stories

NASA aids response to Nepal quake

May 04, 2015

NASA and its partners are gathering the best available science and information on the April 25, 2015, magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, referred to as the Gorkha earthquake, to assist in relief and humanitarian ...

Challenges medical relief teams face after disaster

May 04, 2015

As medical relief teams from Nepal and the rest of the world work to distribute supplies and care for survivors, it's worth understanding how health workers handle extreme emergency situations.

What works and doesn't in disaster health response

May 01, 2015

On Saturday, April 24 2015, a major (Magnitude 7.8) earthquake hit Nepal shortly after midday. Long-expected by seismologists, this large earthquake has left many of the older structures in this mountainous and economica ...

Nepal quake could have been much worse: Here's why

May 01, 2015

The structural engineer strides through Kathmandu's old city, past buildings reduced to rubble, buildings whose facades are cracked in dozens of places, like the fractured shell of a hardboiled egg. But it's ...

Nepal earthquake on the radar

Apr 30, 2015

On 25 April, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, claiming over 5000 lives and affecting millions of people. Satellite images are being used to support emergency aid organisations, while geo-scientists ...

Recommended for you

How bad can solar storms get?

1 hour ago

Our sun regularly pelts the Earth with all kinds of radiation and charged particles. How bad can these solar storms get?

Mars rover's ChemCam instrument gets sharper vision

1 hour ago

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover's "ChemCam" instrument just got a major capability fix, as Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists uploaded a software repair for the auto-focus system on the instrument.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.