After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, it became obvious that the American state of California is most vulnerable to earthquakes. California is located on the San Andreas Fault, which has become the subject of a comprehensive study on the grounds that it is a major seismically dangerous area in the world. The earthquake on October 17, 1989 was the most serious of those that occurred in this area since 1906. At 5 p.m. California residents felt a push force of 7.1 on the Richter scale, which caused them a surprise.
The epicenter was located 10 km from Loma Prieta, one of the most famous mountain peaks in the area. Unlike the earthquake in San Francisco, this push has not caused the formation of large cracks, although a few were still found under the bottom layer, in the mountain range of Santa Cruz.
More than 18,000 homes were destroyed: the damage affected mainly Santa Cruz located near San Francisco. This small town was famous for its architectural buildings of late 19th - early 20th century. Lovely brick houses with wooden roofs attracted crowds of tourists and photographers. Many of the buildings were affected by the earthquake of 1906, but nothing was done to strengthen their wooden structures. Thus these homes were not able to withstand another earthquake of such force.
It took 10 seconds to destroy hundreds of houses. Still, luck was on the side of California residents. Landslides formed in the mountain range of Santa Cruz. Their width varied from a few meters up to one and a half kilometers. Going down, they seized along the way rocks, soil, and small trees. Landslide in this area coincided with one of the driest periods in several years. That turned out to be luck. The danger could threaten more than 300 homes. Despite the lack of large surface cracks and heavy landslides, the damage to property was significant, especially for roads and bridges. The Interstate 280 was ruined so bad that the traffic was stopped there for a few weeks. Several shopping streets of San Francisco turned into an impassable area. In another part of the city, Marina, 27 fires broke out. As in 1906, there were not enough fire brigades.
The largest number of victims, 62 people, was in Santa Cruz. These people were victims of devastation in the historic city center and the car park at Nimitsroud.
Residents of San Francisco were lucky that the day coincided with the first match of the annual US baseball championship. Many watched the match at home and at Candlestick stadium. If there was as much traffic on the motorways as usually, the scale of the tragedy could have been frightening.
After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, it became obvious that the American state of California is most vulnerable to earthquakes. California is located on the San Andreas Fault, which has become the subject of a comprehensive study on the grounds that it is a major seismically dangerous area in the world.