108. California's Earthquakes
One of the main reasons for California's beauty
the tectonic plate movement beneath the surface of
state. This movement is responsible for some of
's breathtaking mountain ranges and deep valleys. California is
of a large area of land called the
of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean. It
a hotbed of volcanic activity and earthquakes.
had its share of earthquakes over the years.
most famous was the Great San Francisco earthquake
1906. The city was completely unprepared for an
of this magnitude. The quake was estimated to
7.8 on the Richter scale. More than 80
of the city was destroyed, and an estimated
,000 people lost their lives.
San Francisco was again
by a large earthquake in October 1989. The
Prieta quake measured 6.9 on the Richter scale,
occurred during the World Series, an annual championship
of baseball. Although the loss of life was
compared with other quakes, it had a profound
on the transportation system in the city.
has suffered its share of quakes also. In
, the region was hit by a 6.6 quake
Sylmar, just north of Los Angeles; in 1994,
area was devastated in the Northridge quake. Other
, but none-the-less frightening, and dangerous quakes have plagued
Because of these disasters, building codes have
greatly. This has helped minimize the number of
suffered from these quakes. Furthermore, engineers are constantly
work to improve buildings. Americans have the ability,
, and determination to survive and thrive in the