Political incompetence didn't cause the 1906 Earthquake, but it certainly helped exacerbate the damage and the subsequent fire, according to Kevin Starr, a professor of history at the University of Southern California, speaking at a conference on earthquakes and preparedness taking place this week in San Francisco to commemorate the disaster.
Fires broke out immediately after the quake struck. With water mains broken by the shaking, officials in City Hall issued orders to start dynamiting buildings to create a fire break. Instead, blowing up buildings provided fuel for the firestorm, said Starr. Further, dynamiting was not done in a … Read more