San Francisco-Managing Natural Hazards in a Mega City
San Francisco is a region of widespread physical and human-caused hazards. The San Andreas Fault marks a major boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plate and San Francisco is set above this with a network of north - south-trending faults. Thus earthquakes are a major threat to the people of the area, and as a mega-city the secondary effects from an earthquake would be devastating as there is significant potential for failures of lifelines, including transportation, communications, water and sewer pipes, dams, energy systems, food, and medical care delivery. Other potential more localized physical hazards include landslides, flooding, soil liquefaction, and wildfires, along with human-created hazards of traffic congestion, air and water pollution, chemical and toxic wastes, and urban crime. Students can take a tour of the city to learn more about the potential hazards and how the strategies the city has in place to cope with them. They can also visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco with info and exhibits on Earthquake along with The Shake House! Travel back in time to see, hear and feel two earthquakes the 6.9–magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake and the 7.9–magnitude Great San Francisco quake of 1906.