On 19 July 1906, the New York Times ran an article about an earthquake that hit Socorro, New Mexico. The report states that 2/3rds of the buildings in Socorro were falling down, the local springs heated up 10 degrees, and ominously mentions "a supposed extinct volcano" nearby.
Death and destruction. Panic ensues.
As I understand, this "major" earthquake was extremely overexagerated in the press. Socorro is prone to small earthquakes; I've felt a few of them myself when I lived there. This earthquake may have been stronger than usual and some houses may have been damaged, but it's very doubtful that 2/3rds of the homes were destroyed. Especially since there are many old homes still standing.
Check out this link: "Town Being Shaken Down".
I found this link by doing a search on Google News Archive Search.