Econ of Disasters – Unit Introduction


Dates: Earthquake – April 18, 1906. Fire – April 18 – 22, 1906 Type



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Dates: Earthquake – April 18, 1906. Fire – April 18 – 22, 1906
Type: 8.3 magnitude earthquake. “Natural” fire – caused when the earthquake toppled gas stoves and broke gas lines so that pilot lights ignited many small fires.
Source: San Andreas Fault. A ten ft. horizontal and three ft. vertical shift, three hundred miles long.
Human Toll: Over 3,000 deaths. 250,000 people homeless (out of a total population of about 400,000).
Property Damage: 80% of the city was destroyed. Five thousand houses destroyed by the initial quake and 28,000 buildings destroyed by the subsequent fire. Estimates of total property loss and damage range from $235 million to $400 million. (Note: Value of $300 million in 2006 dollars: $36 billion using GDP per capita, or $127.5 billion using relative share of GDP.)




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