letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Fires Aren’t the Only Destruction After a Quake


Reading Thomas K.Pendergast’s article in the June 2022 issue of the Sunset Beacon, “Billions Needed To Prepare for Post-Quake,” brings back memories of pictures taken in Downtown San Francisco of the fires and the explosions made to blow up buildings to create a barrier to impede the rapidly expanding fires in the wood buildings that rapidly burned like a forest fire!

I also remember the pictures in Marin County of the of the land slippage along  the San Andreas fault of over 30 feet.running northwesterly. In San Francisco, my grandparents’ home was destroyed and they slept in Golden Gate Park in tents until they obtained better lodging and eventually built the first house in the West Portal District.  

The destruction in San Francisco can be seen in Ukraine cities from the bombing and missiles being fired from Russia. 

I remember back in the 1970s in the downtown section of San Francisco working in one of the tali glass office buildings when people were hiding bombs in the building and the employees had to evacuate the building, and because of all the glass windows, the concern was the amount of glass that would fall and make the sidewalks and streets useless. Food was stored on several floors since persons could not leave until the glass on the streets were removed, which could be several weeks.

Thus water is not the only requirement during an earthquake in San Francisco. I remember an earthquake that happened at Market Street at Beal Street where the concrete façade’s on the buildings’ roofs came down like rain and broke like mortar on the sidewalk as I looked up Market Street as it rolled like ocean waves at the beach.

Frank T. Norton

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