The earthquake of 1906


The image shows a map of Valparaíso after the earthquake of 1906, charting the amount of damage of each region of the city. The image is located on the third page of issue No. 105 The Star of Chile August 25, 1906.

The disasters in Coquimbo and San Salvador were yet the most detrimental ones. On 16th August 1906, a much more severe earthquake occured in Valparaiso. When the weather turned dull and cloudy, the first shock happened in under two minutes, tearing all buildings from the West and East direction of the city center into the grounds. Luckily, as many people had left their jobs for home, workers did not get killed by collapsing walls and bricks. However, on a larger scale, a prosperous city like Viña Del Mar in Valparaiso was burnt down in just a "twinkling of an eye," according to many Chilean newspapers. In some unfortunate locations, the big earthquake killed thousands of people, leaving behind countless unidentified bodies as well as many lost in the fire. Gas and electricity lines were all cut down, preventing people from communication. The Star of Chile later in August 25 described the chaos, "On all sides were heard cries and lamentations as the crowds vainly sought places of safety." People were in pain, escaping from the buildings that “were in flames and each shock pieces of neighboring houses were precipitated to the ground." The Star of Chile added,"within 5 minutes from the first shock the whole city was in flames at different points, and at the water supply pipes had been torn up and scattered in all directions." There was a huge damage in water supply and loss in property, as calculations indicate the loss came to at least 30 million pounds. Facilities were torn and heavily destroyed. 


Map of Damage Following the Earthquake of 1906 in Valparaiso in Star of Chile, vol. 4, no. 105 (Valparaiso, Chile), August 25, 1906.

The Earthquake of 1906