The first tremors of a massive earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area at precisely 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, splitting along the San Andreas fault. The quake, considered to be one of the most significant earthquakes of all time, lasted 45 to 60 seconds and was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles, and as far east as Nevada, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The fires that followed caused perhaps more damage than the quake itself. This year marks the 112th anniversary of the great earthquake that shook San Francisco and that was blamed for more than 3,000 deaths.
Many fires followed the 1906 earthquake, displacing many from their homes.
A refugee camp was set up for survivors of the massive earthquake that nearly leveled San Francisco in April of 1906.
Survivors of the quake set up camp in refugee camps at the time, as the city was rebuilt.
Smoke from a fire billows from a building in San Francisco after the quake hit the city.
Red Cross relief is seen in San Francisco after the great earthquake, April 18, 1906.
Houses lean at bizarre angles on Howard Street near 17th Street in San Francisco following the disastrous earthquake that nearly leveled the city on April 18, 1906. Note how the tall house at center has separated from its foundation and leans against its neighbor.
Pavement and curbstones buckled at the corner of 18th Street and Lexington Street resulting from the earthquake on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco, California.
From safer vantage points, residents stand amid ruined buildings on Sacramento Street, watching fires in downtown San Francisco after the earthquake in April 1906.
The Fairmont Hotel stands amidst the destruction from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. The hotel was originally scheduled to open in April 1906, but was delayed a year because of the quake.
The 1906 earthquake leveled buildings, started fires and caused massive devastation around the area.
Earthquake damage as seen in San Francisco, California, in April 1906.
Residents of Castro Street set up kitchen stoves in the street after chimneys were damage in the earthquake.
This photo, taken later in the day following the earthquake on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, shows the damage caused by the natural disaster along a broad avenue in San Francisco, California.
A photographer in front of City Hall takes photos of the disaster in San Francisco, California.
Survivors of the great San Francisco earthquake stand outside their tents at the Presidio, San Francisco, California, in April 1906.
The Hibernia Bank building is in ruins following the massive earthquake that devastated the San Francisco area, April 18, 1906. (AP Photo)