Revisiting The Loma Prieta Earthquake

This was an earthquake of major proportions that came on in Northern California on 17th October 1989 which caused extensive damage across a wide region. This quake was recorded in the world series of earthquakes as the quake of 89. There were about 60 deaths that happened and 400 injuries recorded. The Loma Prieta earthquake was capable of causing much more damage, but for the retrofitting, that had taken place in the Bay Area and other regions from before.

Loma Prieta Earthquake

As per the findings of the scientific community this earthquake was due to certain magnetic disturbances that occurred around fault areas which happened two weeks before the quake took place. The occurrence was on 17th October 1989 around 5.04 PM which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was in the Santa Cruz mountain area of the Loma Prieta peak, which occurred along the San Andreas Fault line. This fault line is a boundary that exists between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. As a result of the impact, rocks were dislodged which fell from a height of seven feet when the quake occurred.

At such a time the Bay Area had a lot of people excited over a game that was taking place between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s which were local teams. At the time when the warm ups were taking place the quake occurred. That led too much of the quake footage captured on news cameras. This event was extensively covered by news footage as a result, one of the first earthquakes in media history.

Among the recognizable damage that occurred due to the quake is the dismantling of the Bay Bridge which connects Oakland to San Francisco. The upper deck of this double decked structure collapsed, which trapped people who were traversing on both sides of the bridge. There were signs of devastation in other regions of the Bay Area as well, such as Interstate 880 where a freeway of two levels fell apart and killed 42 people. Santa Cruz area saw the collapse of the Pacific Garden Mall, buildings, towers, and malls. Though the damages were extensive, due to earthquake retrofitting many areas were saved from more damages that could have occurred.