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Natural Disasters

1906, A City Remembers

A special TV presentation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco. Survivors of the "Great quake" all in their hundreds, share their vivid memories of the terrifying morning of April 18th, 1906. Highlights include archival footage of the destruction caused by the quake, rebuilding efforts and the resilence of the people.

April 18, 1906, 5:16 am [sound recording]

History of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the resulting fire, compiled from interviews with the survivors, newspaper accounts, interspersed with cuts from recordings of the songs popular in 1906. Pacific Tape Library, [198?]

China Quake

An international team of engineers, geologists and seismologists are brought into the Sichuan Province to uncover and decode clues about the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which destroyed 5 million buildings and took nearly 90,000 lives. The team also investigates and recommends engineering and building materials and design which would withstand future earthquake damage in this area. System Details 2010. 47 min.


These films follow the involvement of UK nationals in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts during the Oct. 8, 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and how some of the rescuers were linked to the devastation of the terrible earthquake through its effect on their relatives. 180 min.

Earthquake Video (FEMA Video Network).

San Francisco Earthquake from "Ready for the worst" -- New Madrid earthquake area. (7 min.) -- Alaska earthquake from "Though the earth be moved" (3 min.) -- California earthquake from "Our active earth" (3:20 min.) -- Earthquake, California, 1971 (3 min.) -- Living with Quakes (4 min.) -- Japan quake '84 (5 min.).

Faults? Beneath the Bay

This documentary illustrates a promising new approach to studying the geometry of earthquake faults. It shows how scientists are using sound waves to produce a detailed image of a horizontal surface nearly nine miles beneath San Francisco Bay. 12 min. 1996.

Great Disasters(ITN/Reuters Stock Footage Library)

Newsreel footage of natural and manmade disasters of the 20th century. Includes footage of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse, the aftermath of Pan Am Flight 103's explosion over Lockerbie and the 1998 high-speed train crash at Eschede. Clips of natural disasters include flooding in New England, hurricanes in Florida, avalanches in France and Austria, earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan and Mexico City and volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, New Zealand, Montserrat, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Dist.: Films Media Group. 62 min.

Impact of War on Afghanistan's Environment: 23 Years of War Has Created an Environmental Nightmare

Documentary on the environmental disaster in Afghanistan after two and half decades of communist revolution, Soviet occupation and civil war. Directed by Kabir Khan. 2002. 25 min.

Interdependency, Quake '89

In the California earthquake of 1989 meeting the needs of disaster victims reached far beyond immediately available resources to dependency upon other cities, the county, regional and state government and private citizens. Film includes interviews with emergency assistance providers and city, county and state officials to determine how pre-planned interdependence between various layers of government and private citizens can facilitate future disaster relief efforts. 1089. 15 min.

Natural Disaster Films, 1905-1973

Features film footage and newsreels detailing damage by earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes, mostly within the United States in the 20th century. Contents: 1936 Pittsburgh flood (Part II - Part 1 missing) (1936, 2:49, silent) -- Trip down Market Street before the fire (1906, 13:52, silent): A car ride down San Francisco's main street before the great earthquake destroyed it -- Cataclysm: volcano, tidal waves devastate Pacific Area (1960, 1:44): Tidal waves hitting Hawaii and California. -- Earthquake (1973, 26:45): Aftermath of 1971 San Fernando Valley earthquake.