Sunday, October 18, 2015

Remembering the Loma Prieta Earthquake

KTVU Photo
SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND (KTVU) -- Saturday marked the 26th anniversary of the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta Earthquake.

The San Francisco Fire Department's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team held a disaster drill Saturday morning, and an afternoon ceremony to mark the occasion at Fort Mason Great Meadow.

The 15-second quake hit at 5:04 p.m. October 17, 1989. It killed 63 people, and injured more than 3,700 others.

42 deaths occurred at the old Cypress Freeway in West Oakland. The upper deck collapsed, and its columns could not stand up to the falling weight.

A section of the upper deck of the eastern cantilever side of the Bay Bridge also fell. The Oakland side of the bridge shifted more than half a foot to the east. It took the bridge a month to reopen.

The earthquake also sparked a fire at San Francisco's Marina District. More than 120 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

An infant died choked to death from dust and debris in his family's apartment in the Marina.

Of all the changes in the past quarter century, the bridge probably went through the biggest transformation.

Retrofitting the bridge meant building a whole new eastern span. Construction took nearly a dozen years, and cost $6.4 billion.

Elevated freeways in San Francisco were torn down, which allowed the waterfront and some neighborhoods to reconnect with the city.
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