EXHIBIT: When the Big One Hit

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Science  31 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5769, pp. 1841
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5769.1841a

San Francisco residents woke early on the morning of 18 April 1906 to find their city collapsing around them. A rupture in the San Andreas fault split streets and, combined with subsequent fires, razed some 28,000 buildings. At these two sites that commemorate the quake's centennial, visitors can relive the calamity, which killed more than 3000 people and left more than half of the city's inhabitants homeless.

Nearly 14,000 period photos and other visuals crowd this collection* from the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. One highlight is footage of a pulverized downtown shot just a few days after the disaster. FaultLine from the Exploratorium in San Francisco recounts the quake's history and delves into the science of earth movement. Backgrounders explain earthquake essentials and examine subsequent changes in building design intended to reduce damage. Fun graphics include video of a Jell-O model of the city, which shows how today's buildings would respond to a temblor.

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