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Damage at Charleston College, 1886

Earthquake of August 31, 1886, Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Location: fifteen miles northwest of Charleston; Affected Area: 5.2 million km2; Damage: 5 million. The first shock was followed by a second shock eight minutes later. At least 10 severe aftershocks drove most of the residents into the streets. Most of the houses were damaged and debris filled the streets. Much of Charleston was built on manmade land, some of it over former creek beds. This fill amplified the ground motion. The masonry structures were severely damaged although the damage varied according to the type of brick and mortar. Wooden houses usually survived although many were thrown out of plumb. Chimneys on at least 14,000 houses were destroyed. This photo shows the damage at Charleston College. Photo Credit: South Carolina Art Association.