San Francisco Earthquake

Proposal to raise death toll from famous 1906 quake

Raising the death toll after a devastating earthquake isn't unusual by itself, but a proposal to do so nearly 100 years after the fact is another matter. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors will discuss a resolution today amending the number of people who perished in the city's destructive 1906 earthquake and fire. Historian Gladys Hansen says the original toll of 478 is seriously underestimated. Hansen says it's more like 34-hundred and probably higher. For example, she says only men were listed in city directories and voter registration rolls. She also says immigrant workers from Japan and China were never counted. And Hansen says in doing her research she limited her own definition of death by earthquake disaster to one month, from April 18th, 1906 to May 18th, 1906.