SF marks 109th anniversary of 1906 earthquake 

click to enlarge From safer vantage points, residents stand amid ruined buildings on Sacramento Street, watching fires in downtown San Francisco after the earthquake in April 1906. - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo
  • From safer vantage points, residents stand amid ruined buildings on Sacramento Street, watching fires in downtown San Francisco after the earthquake in April 1906.

San Francisco on Saturday morning marked the 109th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire.

The quake is the worst natural disaster in California history and killed roughly 3,000 people.

Residents and city officials gathered at the traditional commemoration location, Lotta's Fountain along Market Street near Kearny and Geary streets, for a moment of silence at 5:12 a.m., the exact time of the April 18, 1906 quake.

Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White were among the attendees.

The only survivors are believed to be 113-year-old Ruth Newman and 109-year-old William Del Monte.

The temblor ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time and provided scientists with important new knowledge about the San Andreas Fault, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

On Friday, two fire hydrants at Hayes and Buchanan streets were painted silver to honor their contributions to battling the fires after the quake, said Lee Houskeeper, a publicist who helped organize anniversary celebrations.

The silver twins, as the hydrants are called, were only recently discovered to have been in operation during the 1906 fires caused by the quake.

A luncheon in honor of the survivors of the quake was also held in San Francisco on Friday and attended by city officials.

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