The Deadly Loma Prieta Earthquake

by Adrian Lossada

Have you ever been in an earthquake before? If not you might get a few words of advice in this, if you are ever in an earthquake, in the future. This is the story of Bridget Kelley-Lossada’s experience in the Loma Prieta earthquake in Santa Cruz, October 17th 1989. With a magnitude of 6.9, that was centered in the Santa Cruz mountains. Bridget Kelley-Lossada is my mom and she was in college when the earthquake hit.

My mom was at UC Santa Cruz, and taking a Political Science class, with a professor from Australia, who had never felt an earthquake before, and after that semester he left. So they were talking about the crash of the stock market in 1929, they were talking when, BOOM! The earthquake hit. My mom said it felt like a Freight Train hitting the building. The professor froze with no idea what happened. My mom thinking quick to the doorway and stood under it, because it was not near any windows, her desk was to small for her to be under, and the doorway was the strongest part of the building.

The earthquake took 15 seconds but she said it felt like 30. After the earthquake 41 buildings collapsed, 63 people were dead, but overall the school did pretty well, only the fourth floor of the library had been destroyed. My mom walked home and her little house was fine. She knew her family was worried because at the time the world series was about to begin in San Francisco and they felt it too and they were most likely watching it. So she went to her neighbors phoned her parents and it was ok.

After all that, her boyfriend picked her up and took her to his house and for a while she slept under a table because the aftershocks were like around 5.7 magnitude. After all this her advice to anybody who does not know what to do in an earthquake is, to get a any from windows and get good cover like doorways. Always keep a lot of extra cash that is in reach because in an earthquake the power will most likely go out. Most importantly keep spare water, food and flashlights. It will help you because you can then avoid market lines for water and food. That was the story of my mom’s experience in the Loma Prieta earthquake, and her advice after being in it.