Quakefinder Blog

112th Anniversary of the 1906 SF Earthquake

On April 18th, 1906 at approximately 5:12 am, San Francisco was struck with a M7.9 earthquake. Between the 60 seconds of extreme shaking and the resulting 4-day long fire, over 80% of the city was left in ruins. Approximately 3000 lives were lost.

Video photography was still in its infancy in 1906 when the now-famous Miles Brothers opened a film studio in SF one month prior to the quake. A Trip Down Market Street, a 8-minute piece, was shot 4 days before the earthquake. On the way to New York with that film, the Miles Brothers heard of the earthquake and returned to the city to film the devastation. That footage was lost until it was recently found at a flea market in Alameda, CA. The film has now been digitized and premiered at the Edison Theater in Fremont this past weekend. The footage has been delivered to the U.S. Library Of Congress and will be posted on-line later this summer. Stay tuned.

QuakeFinder Q1 Newsletter: “False Alarms”

“False Alarms” in Forecasting

This newsletter is a continuation of our series of studies into the sociological aspects of natural disaster forecasting. The intent of these studies is to help QuakeFinder appreciate both the technical and non-technical implications of our evolving technology. We seek to enable an earthquake forecasting system and save lives. Understanding the societal impacts of forecasting will help guide us in our quest.
In this newsletter, we introduce false alarms in disaster forecasting and provide a few recent case studies.

Would you like to know days in advance of an earthquake? How about a few seconds of warning? Most everyone would answer ‘yes’. However, what if the timing was incorrect? What if the forecasted earthquake intensity was off by a few orders of magnitude? Imagine the preparations you would make and your general discomfort while waiting for the big shake that doesn’t happen. The question is: At what point is it ok to issue a public warning when the forecasting system is not always correct? ….
Read more!