Saturday Events Remembering the Loma Prieta Quake

So in case you forgot, this weekend is the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Quake. In an attempt to get people to be more prepared for the Next One, there are quite a bit of events going on around town as part of the “Big Rumble” series of events on Saturday. You can get a complete list of the events around town at the site – out in the Sunset there will be two, one on 14th between Judah and Kirkham and one at 20th between Irving and Judah.
I wasn’t actually in San Francisco at the time – I was away at school at UC Santa Cruz and was standing in the parking lot by the old Bay Tree Bookstore when it hit. The campus itself wasn’t seriously damaged, but most of the downtown of Santa Cruz either collapsed, burnt down, or was demolished soon afterwards.
So….where were you when the big one hit?

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4 Responses to Saturday Events Remembering the Loma Prieta Quake

  1. Steve Vaccaro says:

    I had one day left of vacation so decided to make it a beach day and headed out to the Presidio to Marshall’s Beach, just below Fort Scott and about 1/2 mile south of the GG Bridge. What I saw and heard: an absolutely flat ocean with hardly any waves until the quake started, the shock wave traveling under the sand – lifting it up in the blink of an eye, strong enough shaking to make one walking beach goer fall over and the rest of us unable to stand up, the grinding sound of the GG Bridge as the towers slightly swayed, the road deck slowly undulated and the cable suspenders looking like someone had plucked them. Rocks and small boulders came down the cliffs behind for a few seconds just as the quake was stopping. I hiked south to the trail (now closed) that went up the cliffs and under the bridge to the toll plaza to await whatever Muni bus came first. Tourists from the UK that had been hiking up the trail (now closed) under the bridge from Fort Point to the toll plaza told me that they thought the bridge was going to collapse on them. The 28 bus headed to Fort Mason arrived, the driver had a large transistor radio on and the announcer was saying that the quake had measured 7.1 (later downgraded to 6.9). I could see smoke rising from Oakland (Nimitz Freeway collapse) and of course the Marina as we traveled towards Lombard St. Got off at Fillmore St only to realize there was no power for the 22 so walked home to Noe Valley across Fillmore and Church Sts. Drivers were unusually polite with no traffic signals operating. Someone had a battery operated tv on the hood of a car in the Upper Fillmore – the announcer saying that there was a collapse on the Bay Bridge. Fallen bricks seen on the sidewalks next to the Fillmore Auditorium and the Muni powerhouse 2 blocks south. Dolores Park was filled with people either hanging out or eating dinner. The City skyline was virtually black and a big moon was rising over the East Bay hills. My apartment was not damaged but my cd collection was all over the floor, every framed picture was askew, every drawer and cabinet door in the kitchen had opened, no phone service although I did get a call in the middle of the night from a friend living in Kyoto, Japan at the time who said that Japanese tv had made it look like nothing was left of the City. Power and phone service came back early AM.

  2. Steve Bowles says:

    I was 11 years old, living in Oroville, CA with my father and stepmother; on that day, we were getting ready to watch Game Three of the World Series, which was being broadcast from Candlestick Park. Suddenly, we heard Al Michaels say “I think we’re having an earthquake,” there was ‘snow’ on the TV, immediately followed by a prolonged showing of the ABC logo technical-difficulties graphic.
    An earthquake had struck the Bay Area. That much we knew. Just how bad, we wouldn’t know for quite some time (it would be at least a day before we learned that the reading was 7.1).
    First thing I did was telephone my mother, in Richmond. No serious damage in her neck of the woods, she told me, just a few things that had fallen off the shelves in the bathroom. For the most part, the northern part of the East Bay had been unharmed.

  3. @makfan says:

    FYI – SFist reports that the emergency sirens will sound tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:15 am as part of an earthquake preparedness drill.
    I was living in San Diego. I had left work early to get home in time for the World Series. I turned on the TV to see a rerun of Roseanne. Slowly the news began to break that this was a pretty good shake and that the damage was widespread. The coverage mostly focused on the Bay Bridge section that collapsed, the collapse of the Cypress structure and the fires in the Marina. We got almost no news about conditions in Santa Cruz, or even San Jose, both of which were much closer to the epicenter.

  4. Bob Davis says:

    I was at home in San Gabriel CA, so I didn’t find out about the quake until I turned on the TV to watch the World Series game. First thing that came up on the screen was a shot of the collapsed section of the Bay Bridge. I thought “must be some new disaster movie”. When the voiceover said “late breaking news” instead of “coming soon to a theater near you”, I realized that this wasn’t Hollywood special effects. From the railfan’s point of view, it finally hushed up the last of the BART skeptics.

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