SF marks 105th anniversary of the Great Quake


Survivors gathered at Lotta's Fountain on Market Street back then. This year's event included a moment of silence for the thousands of victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Lotta's Fountain is where the disaster is remembered every year on this anniversary and it's where people came on this day 105 years ago to post notices, desperately trying to locate family and friends. People returned today, some with a message about preparedness for tomorrow.

At exactly 5:11 this morning, sirens wailed in downtown San Francisco - the exact time 105 years ago the silence of that morning was broken by the sounds of rumbling, buildings collapsing and people screaming as a 7.8 earthquake hit San Francisco. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says let us all prepare for the next big one.

"Today is about not only reminding ourselves, but in light of what's happened in Japan - to get ourselves even more ready," said Mayor Lee.

One of three people still alive today who survived the '06 quake, Bill Delmonte, attended this morning's survivors breakfast at Lefty O'Doul's. Only three-months-old at the time of the quake, Delmonte remembers playing in the rubble that remained years later on Sansome Street.

"All there was left was the three walls and we would climb up the first, second, third floors to just play - even in the winter time. When it would rain there would be a lake in the middle and we would be paddling on a piece of board," said Delmonte.

This morning's event in San Francisco was also to remember victims of last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan. At the Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, a silent auction and golf tournament is scheduled by coincidence on this date to raise money for the hurting Japanese.

"I like to try to give them a little hope for the future because now they have lost everything - like family, memories, belongings," said Fundraiser Chairwoman Yoshie Masuda-Uchida.

While the fundraising went on there, Mayor Lee was stressing awareness in San Francisco.

"The most important thing is to be ready yourself, to be able to talk to your family, talk to your neighbors and communicate with each other about being ready," said Mayor Lee.

Researchers said that back in 1906 the country that contributed most to the rebuilding of San Francisco was Japan.

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