Today marks the 105th anniversary of San Francisco’s Great Quake, which means everyone’s either getting up early to commemorate it, reminiscing in print or online, or wondering what we’d do if a quake of that magnitude happened today. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, he’s a sample — if you’ve seen more good coverage today, link it in the comments!

SF marks 105th anniversary of the Great Quake [ABC7], [CBS5]
(Ad blocker alert: ABC7 has THE WORST ads running, which are doing terrible things to every browser I try. I am all for ads, as you know — that is how we pay our bills here! But these are crashy/slowy ads. So make sure your shields are up before clicking.) Everyone gathered at Lotta’s fountain this morning at 5:11, Mayor Lee, SFPD Chief Godown and SFFDChief Joanne Hayes-White led a moment of silence, and one of the three remaining survivors of the quake was there.

San Francisco earthquake retrofitting program crumbled [Ex]
$260 million in bonds approved in 1992 to help brick building owners seismically retrofit have not been tapped because the program “proved onerous and expensive.” The good news: people found other ways to pay for it, and “virtually all of San Francisco’s unreinforced brick buildings have now been retrofitted.” The bad news: soft-story buildings (which weren’t covered by the bond money) are still shaky, plus, government inefficiency, etc.

Another reminder to be prepared for earthquakes [Ex], Mayor has disaster preparedness high on his priorities list [Chron]
At a disaster commission meeting last week, officials told the mayor that “preparations for the recovery of a major disaster are still a big concern,” while Lee said that the biggest problem in a disaster would be keeping people calm. Maybe that’s why this Op-Ed he penned for the Ex, he says things like “(t)hese historic moments and the jarring reality of recent events provide an opportunity to reinvigorate our commitment to a culture of preparedness that will greatly improve our abilities to save lives during any natural disaster.” If being put to sleep is equated with being calm, mission: accomplished. He runs through what a good job we’ve done retrofitting city buildings (residences go unmentioned), says everyone needs an emergency plan, and pimps alert systems like Alert SF. And Lee apparently practices what he preaches: according to the Chron, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said she ran into Lee “at Big 5, purchasing flashlights and earthquake preparedness backpacks for his family.” I never see ANYONE “famous” at Big 5!

New information, misinformation on quake safety [Chron]
“New information drawn from recent natural disasters…has sparked debate in the disaster-response community about whether a three-day food supply would be adequate should catastrophe strike the Bay Area.” Apparently, there is bad information on the internet regarding earthquake preparedness and response! This annoys folks like he Red Cross. It’s a disaster preparedness fight!

Stepping up preparation for a major earthquake [Chron]
The Chron’s editorial board opines “We can’t stop earthquakes, and we can’t predict them, at least not yet. But all of us who live in earthquake country – government officials and private citizens – need to keep seeking new ways to prepare for the inevitable.”

S.F. hopes to return favor to Japan over ’06 quake [Chron]
The Bay Area chapter of the American Red Cross is collecting donations for areas of Japan that have been most affected by the earthquake at SF’s anniversary events today. There’s a nice list of places you can donate to the Japanese relief effort at the bottom of the article.

’06 quake through eyes of woman ahead of her time [Chron]
A woman inherits a box of her aunt’s belongings, discovering years later that it included a memoir that included a first person account of the 1906 quake. This is really long, but super interesting! Or you can wait for the book, as this and the other items from this published by the Chron (not all are available online yet) will appear in “Leonie: A Woman Ahead of Her Time,” a book to be published in May.

Lots of other folks have some great slideshows, video posts, and nabe-specific briefs — check them out:

SLIDESHOW: The 1906 earthquake in San Francisco [Ex]

April 18, 1906: Mother Nature 1, San Francisco 0 [Wired]

105th Anniversary of the SF Quake – Scene from Noe Valley [Noe Valley SF]

The 105th remembrance of the quake [Tenderblog]

Great Photo Archive Starts Coming Online [Market St. Railway] [NBC11]

SF 1906 Earthquake: Videos 105 Years Later [Violet Blue San Francisco]

The 1906 Earthquake, as Experienced from Bernal Heights [Bernalwood]

Update 2:30 PM: Here’s some more good stuff I came across that posted later in the day:

906 Earthquake and Fire – 105th Anniversary [SFPL]
A neat roundup of quake research tools at the SF public library’s SF History Center. “even when the 1906 earthquake is not the ostensible research topic, it informs almost any question we handle at the reference desk.” Bookmark this!

Happy 06 Earthquake Day: The Mint [Spots Unknown]

Our Seismologist Explains Why the 1906 Earthquake Did Little Damage to [Bernalwood]
“The solid chert bedrock that makes up Bernal Hill didn’t shake nearly as hard as the soft sediment and artificial fill of the Financial District, Mission, or SoMa”

The City That Has Fallen: William Marion Reedy’s “Definitive” Great Quake of 1906 Essay [The Atlantic via SFist]

Gilding the Hero Hydrant, Once Again [ML@L]
A nice writeup of this morning’s traditional repainting of the fabled Dolores Park fire hydrant.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!