​Passage: A witness to the 1906 San Francisco quake

It happened this past week ... we received news of the passing earlier this summer of the oldest survivor of the Great California Earthquake of 1906.

Ruth Newman was just four years old when the giant quake hit San Francisco and much of the surrounding area with a magnitude estimated at anywhere from 7.7. to 8.3.

This film shot just days before the April 18th quake shows a prosperous and bustling city comparable to anything back East:

Pictures taken afterward tell a different story. The quake flattened buildings and touched off fires that burned for three days.

san-francisco-earthquake-ruins-21-nar-620.jpg
This photograph featuring the St. Francis Hotel shows the clean sweep of fire in the business section after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
National Archives

Five hundred city blocks were destroyed. As many as 3,000 people were killed, and some 200,000 were left homeless.

ruth-newman-san-francisco-earthquake-244.jpg
Ruth Newman.
CBS News

As for Ruth Newman and her family, the quake rocked their ranch north of the city, but left their home undamaged.

Ruth Newman went on to enjoy a long and healthy life, dying at the remarkable age of 113.

Her passing leaves just one other earthquake survivor: Bill Del Monte, 3 months old then, 109 now.

GALLERY: Photos from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake