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San Francisco Hazard Maps
New maps from the state of California help San Franciscans learn where the bad ground lies.
Ever since its earliest days, earthquakes have kept San Francisco on the edge of its seat. The 1868 quake, for instance, destroyed so much of the city that it was called "the great quake" until 1906, when a truly great quake struck the city by the bay.
We learned a lot from the 1906 earthquake: things like the ways the ground moves, and how buildings endure or succumb to ground movements. But people were so eager to rebuild San Francisco that many of the lessons, like zoning changes and upgraded building codes, could not be put to use. A set of seismic hazard maps from the state of California, issued in November 2000, gives the people of San Francisco help in doing the right thing.