San_Francisco_in_ruins_from_Lawrence_Captive_Airship_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.