• Do more with your content!Discover PreventionWeb Services
  • USA: What a major earthquake would do to San Francisco

    Email sent!

    An email has been sent to the email addresses provided, with a link to this content.

    Thank you for sharing!


USA: What a major earthquake would do to San Francisco

Source(s):  SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle, Hearst Communications Inc.

By Kimberly Veklerov

A repeat of the most powerful earthquake in San Francisco’s history would knock out phone communications, leave swaths of the city in the dark, cut off water to neighborhoods and kill up to 7,800 people, according to state and federal projections.

If a quake like that were to strike along the San Andreas Fault today, building damage would eclipse $98 billion and tens of thousands of residents would become homeless.


Building codes have improved dramatically since 1906, of course — engineers now must design flexible, fire-resistant structures that can withstand horizontal forces. Researchers also have made key earthquake science discoveries, and emergency response procedures today are far more sophisticated.

But the Bay Area’s population has increased tenfold over the last century, and with more humans come more sources of vulnerability: water-treatment facilities, petroleum refineries, chemical plants and critical infrastructure, like the Transbay Tube that runs beneath the bay. Beyond shaking the ground, powerful earthquakes can set secondary disasters in motion: fires, tsunamis and hazardous material releases.


Add this content to your collection!

Enter an existing tag to add this content to one or more of your current collections. To start a new collection, enter a new tag below.

See My collections to name and share your collection
Back to search results to find more content to tag

Log in to add your tags
  • Publication date 13 Apr 2019

Please note:Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNISDR PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use