Eyewitnessing The San Francisco Earthquake
by Jack London
The earthquake shook down in San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walls and chimneys. But the conflagration that followed burned up hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property. There is no estimating within hundreds of millions the actual damage wrought. Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone. Nothing remains of it but memories and a fringe of dwelling-houses on its outskirts. Its industrial section is wiped out. Its business section is wiped out. Its social and residential section is wiped out. The factories and warehouses, the great stores and newspaper buildings, the hotels and the palaces of the nabobs, are all gone. Remains only the fringe of dwelling houses on the outskirts of what was once San Francisco.
Within an hour after the earthquake shock the smoke of San Francisco's burning was a lurid tower visible a hundred miles away. And for three days and nights this lurid tower swayed in the sky, reddening the sun, darkening the day, and filling the land with smoke.
On Wednesday morning at a quarter past five came the earthquake. A minute later the flames were leaping upward. In a dozen different quarters south of Market Street, in the working-class ghetto, and in the factories, fires started. There was no opposing the flames. There was no organization, no communication. All the cunning adjustments of a twentieth century city had been smashed by the earthquake. The streets were humped into ridges and depressions, and piled with the debris of fallen walls. The steel rails were twisted into perpendicular and horizontal angles. The telephone and telegraph systems were disrupted. And the great water-mains had burst. All the shrewd contrivances and safeguards of man had been thrown out of gear by thirty seconds' twitching of the earth-crust.
Who: Jack London, who wrote this story on the account of witnessing an
earthquake at San Francisco.
What: A massive earthquake erupted and caused buildings and houses to be
severely destroyed and in ruins. A fire started. Innocent human life was lost
and there was economical downfall in the city.
Where: San Francisco.
When: Past, Wednesday morning at a quarter past five.
Why: Massive Weather Change, earthquake caused the fire.
How: Earthquake shook the city, destroyed everything in its path and it broke out
a fire that spread quickly, electricity was cut off and the water canyon was
destroyed, killing shrewd contrivances and safeguards.
Where: The outskirts and city of San Francisco.
Who: Jack London. A reporter and witness to the fire of San Francisco.
What: The industrial section, social section, residential section, factories, warehouses,
stores, newspaper buildings, hotels and palaces of the nabobs are all gone. Burnt
down by the fire.
When: On Wednesday morning at a quarter past five, an earthquake hit San francisco.
Starting fires in factories and market street.
Why: There was no organization, no communication. So the fire could not be put out .