San Francisco in ruins from Lawrence Captive Airship 1906 San Francisco In Ruins   1906

This famous image shows San Francisco in ruins after the great earthquake and subsequent fire of 1906. The quake was estimated at 7.9 on the Richter Scale, a huge geological event by any measure and the fires that broke out afterwards burned for several days, combined the two events destroyed over 80% of San Francisco and killed over 3,000 people.

To really get a sense of the devastation click the above image, then click it again to see the full size 2500 pixel wide version. It’s genuinely astonishing.