Episode 1 San francisco – In San Francisco, violent earthquakes have historically been downplayed by the city’s landowners. After the 1868 Hayward (7.0) and the 1906 San Francisco (7.8) earthquakes devastated the Bay Area, investigations that starkly illustrated the dangers of another large earthquake were suppressed and, in one case, investigation documents were actually destroyed. Today, another event is both inevitable and ill-prepared for. Can scientists and concerned citizens beat the geologic time clock before the next big one?
Episode 2 Mexico City – The Aztecs believed the world would end by earthquake and fire. For a moment in 1985, it seemed they were right. Mexico City was struck by an earthquake both deadly and mystifying. How did people survive for nine days in the rubble? Learn how the largest urban center on the face of the earth was built in perhaps one of the worst places for earthquakes, and what happened in 1985 when one of the world’s strongest ever earthquakes rocked it seemingly to the ground.
Episode 3 Kobe – It was Japan’s worst disaster since World War II the most deadly earthquake since a 1923 Tokyo quake that killed 140,000 people. But the Kobe earthquake was not just a physical earthquake. It was also a cultural earthquake because it called into question so many bedrock beliefs of the Japanese. Yet more than a Japanese tragedy, this was perhaps a preview of an even greater disaster since the heart of so many cities can be found on land ill-suited for similar or even more powerful earthquakes.