Seismic Times

1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake By Elise Chen

An Interview with a Witness

“No matter what, don’t panic and use your head.” - Angel Chen. I interviewed Angel Chen. Her relation to me is that she is my aunt. My aunt experienced the Loma Prieta Earthquake on October 17, 1989. The earthquake took place in Oakland and had a magnitude of 6.9.

It was 5:04 p.m. when the earthquake occurred. This happened right before the San Francisco Giants played the Oakland A’s. Angel was visiting a friend in San Francisco moments before the earthquake occurred. She was going back to her friend’s house after a day of spending time with each other when she felt the ground shaking.

Then, they hurried home and turned on the news to see what was going on. While watching the news, my aunt and her friend figured out that the Bay Bridge had collapsed. She did this to figure out what happened and found out that the damage was devastating. Sixty three people were killed, more than three thousand people were injured, and the Bay Bridge collapsed. There was a lot of traffic due to the destruction of the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge connected Downtown San Francisco and the East Bay Area and everybody either had to take a train or go to the other bridge, which was very far.

Overall, my aunt recommends not to stand under the doorway during large earthquakes unless it is the only option. Instead of a doorway, go under a sturdy table. Store comfortable shoes in the car for emergencies and make sure you have a first aid kit, water, and an emergency blanket in your car. Also, keep water, can openers, and canned foods that require no cooking at home or have a portable gas grill that uses portable can gas and water. Do not forget to have a first aid kit at home too. That is what happened at the Loma Prieta earthquake and advice on how to be prepared.