by Carlos E. Castañeda


SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Bay Area was preparing to mark the 25th anniversary of the most destructive earthquake in the area since the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

The Loma Prieta Earthquake, named after the Loma Prieta peak near the epicenter in the Santa Cruz Mountains, hit on the San Andreas fault on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. PT with a magnitude of 6.9.

63 people were killed in the earthquake, the majority in the collapse of the double-deck Cypress St. viaduct of Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland.  The Bay Bridge was closed for a month when part of the eastern span collapsed.

3,757 were injured in the earthquake and damage was widespread in Santa Cruz County, San Francisco, Oakland and the Peninsula.

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VIDEO:

Archived Footage of 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Damage
KPIX 5 Anchor Kate Kelly Reflects On News Coverage Response
Damage, Rescue At Collapsed Cypress Freeway

It was the first major earthquake to be broadcast live on television, as it occurred during pregame coverage at Candlestick Park of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants.

Initial estimates of fatalities had been in the hundreds, based mainly on the scope of the Cypress freeway collapse.

It’s widely believed that the fact that the Bay Area’s two baseball teams were facing off in the World Series at the moment the earthquake hit meant far fewer commuters and potential victims were on the collapsed freeway than would normally have been during the afternoon rush hour.

PHOTO GALLERY: 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

LEARN MORE:

Loma Prieta 25th anniversary events in the San Francisco Bay Area
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
Earthquake Emergency Preparedness

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