1906-type earthquake could be devastating

March 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: California's rain may shed light on new questions about what causes earthquakes

Related Stories

Improving defence against earthquakes and tsunamis

March 10, 2017

A pioneering new computer model has been developed to simulate the whole chain of hazard events triggered by offshore mega subduction earthquakes, by a team involving UCL and Bristol engineers.

Earthquakes Kill Nearly 90,000 In 2005

January 23, 2006

Although there were fewer deaths worldwide in 2005 due to earthquakes, more than 89,353 casualties were reported, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and confirmed by the United Nations Office for Coordination ...

Recommended for you

Cities and monuments switch off for Earth Hour

March 26, 2017

The Empire State Building and United Nations headquarters in New York joined other iconic buildings and monuments around the world plunging into darkness for sixty minutes on Saturday to mark Earth Hour and draw attention ...

Study into who is least afraid of death

March 24, 2017

A new study examines all robust, available data on how fearful we are of what happens once we shuffle off this mortal coil. They find that atheists are among those least afraid of dying... and, perhaps not surprisingly, ...

Controlling ice formation

March 24, 2017

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that ice crystals will grow along straight lines in a controlled way on microgrooved surfaces. Compared to the random formation of ice crystals on smooth surfaces, the ice on the ...

0 comments

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.