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One of the greatest earthquakes happened in 20th century is in San Francisco in year 1906 It measured 78 degrees Many building were destructed and several hundred of people got killed The earthquake also started a fire which destroyed the central business district The earthquake happened on the San Andreas Fault which is the major fracture of the Earths crust It is trending northwestward through southern and northern California US for 650 miles 1050 km and passing seaward in the vicinity of San Francisco Movement along this transform fault is of the strike-slip type and is characterized by occasional large earthquakes originating near the surface along the path of the fault The disastrous San Francisco quake of 1906 and the less serious earthquake of 1989 were both caused by movement along the fault According to the theory of plate tectonics the San Andreas results from the abutment of two major plates of the Earths crust the Northern Pacific and the North American Along the fault the Northern Pacific plate is sliding past the North American plate in a northerly direction at a relative movement of about 1 cm 04 inch per year over geologic time though the rate of movement has been 4 to 6 cm 16 to 24 inches per year over the past century Parts of the fault line moved as much as 64 m 21 feet during the 1906 earthquake The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System BART bored a tunnel right through the fault zone and various cities towns and housing developments lie on or near it At almost precisely 512 am local time a foreshock occurred with sufficient force to be felt widely throughout the San Francisco Bay area The great earthquake broke loose some 20 to 25 seconds later with an epicenter near San Francisco Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds The earthquake was felt from southern Oregon
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