At 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, the San Andreas Fault ruptured not far off the coast of San Francisco. The ensuing earthquake lasted only about a minute, but it was enough to level a significant portion of the city almost immediately.
The quake, however, was only the start. Subsequent fires soon erupted throughout the city, eventually consuming around 25,000 buildings. In fact, it's been estimated that the fires after the quake caused about 90 percent of the city's total damage. By the time the fires petered out, San Francisco was left in ruins.
Rebuilding the city took time, but not as much time as you would think given the amount of damage. By 1915, there was almost no visible damage left. Today, San Francisco still stands as one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, and one of the top tourist destinations in the world.