Usher Times

Bridges Collapse; Homes Sink; As Earthquake Hits San Fran

Adrienne Usher

“The ground started to roll as if I was standing on a big water bed’’, my Dad recalled as I interviewed him. He experienced The Loma Prieta Earthquake (a.k.a- “The 1989 San Francisco Earthquake”) almost 27 years ago. Its epicenter was located near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred at 5:04 pm on October 17, 1989.

My Dad was walking towards his car on the street outside of his house when the earthquake hit. The ground started to roll and the telephone poles swayed. He had to widen his stance and flex his knees so he wouldn’t fall. He immediately found his Mom and walked to the local restaurant where there was an emergency generator which allowed them to watch the news on television. All other electric & gas power in the area had been lost.

The earthquake heavily damaged the San Francisco Marina District, as many homes sank due to the unstable landfill they were built on. Most of the deaths from the earthquake occurred when the top level of a double decker freeway (pictured above) in the East Bay collapsed. A section of the Bay Bridge also collapsed. Total deaths could have been much greater, but luckily many people were at home (and not driving) ready to watch the first game of the “Bay Area” World Series.

In order to prepare for the next major earthquake, my Dad recommends:

1) Your house is bolted to the foundation.

2) All the bookshelves and cabinets are secured to the wall.

3) Know the location of the emergency gas shutoff valve.

4) Have an emergency supply of water and food because you could be

without electricity & water for an extended period of time.

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The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 Rare Police Video Part 1