Today marks the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, the Great Quake. At 5:12AM one hundred years ago the earth shook violently for only 40 seconds, but in those seconds, energy equivalent to several nuclear bombs was released. The destruction killed many, but the ensuing fires which lasted for four days after the quake killed many more and displaced 250,000 people.

In order to commemorate the event, thousands of spectators are expected to join a handful of centenarians who survived the quake at a solemn wreath-laying to mark the exact moment when the temblor struck the city. The annual pre-dawn ceremony is held annually at Lotta’s Fountain, the downtown landmark where San Franciscans gathered in the aftermath. Additionally, MUNI rides (our city public transit system) are free for the entire day. Today is a historic day in a historic city.

Update: While I slept, thousands gathered at Lotta’s Fountain this morning.

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