What Was the Worst Earthquake To Hit California In the Twentieth Century?

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was the worst in California’s history, causing the deaths of more than 3,000 people and the destruction of 28,000 buildings.

The fire that resulted made things worse, burning much of the city.

Firefighters couldn’t fight the fires because the earthquake caused the water pipes leading into the city to break.

The fault that ruptured as a result of the quake was the longest ever seen in the United States, extending from San Juan Batista to Point Arena, more than 186 miles (299 km).

People were killed as far north of San Francisco as Santa Rosa, about 50 miles (80 km) away, and most people in California felt the quake.

Geologists rated this earthquake a XI on the modified Mercalli scale; on this scale, XII means total destruction.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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