The 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake is tomorrow. The Loma Prieta earthquake was a major quake, with a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter scale. Sixty three deaths and 3,757 injuries occurred because of the quake.
I was a student studying geology at UC Santa Cruz at the time. At 5:04 that evening I was in the McHenry library up on campus. I felt the shaking start. I was not too worried, as I had gone through several 5.0s in my life as a California Girl. I did look for a quick exit though – nope.
As the shaking continued and the lights went out I dove under a table, fully realizing how it wouldn’t help if the building crashed. Luckily the modern McHenry Library withstood the quake. Actually, it did it so well I didn’t realize the quake was so huge at first. Not until driving downtown and seeing every single brick chimney down and hearing on the radio that the Bay Bridge had collapsed. “Wait,” my Santa Cruz self said, “there is no bridge on Bay Street in Santa Cruz… oh my gosh! They mean the San Francisco Bay Bridge!” Then I knew.
After that, my lasting memories associated with the Loma Prieta Earthquake are of the very best of humanity. Strangers helping strangers and neighbors helping neighbors. The police, fire fighters and doctors from several states were everywhere. Indeed the whole country helped Santa Cruz and the Bay Area recover.
What do you remember from the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake? Please comment and share your memories. If you have photos you would like to share, please post them on our Facebook Page or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to the photo gallery here.