SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Saturday is a day many in the Bay Area will not forget.
31 years ago today on Oct. 17, 19-89, the powerful deadly Loma Prieta earthquake hit at just after 5 in the evening. More than 60 people died and thousands injured.
Buildings and structures were heavily damaged. Part of the Bay Bridge collapsed and houses were burned. The epicenter of the quake was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and it caused about $6 billion worth of damage.
Many remember exactly where they were when tragedy struck. Some were about to watch a World Series game between San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.
The shake at U.C. Santa Cruz and across the Bay Area lasted 15 seconds, followed by a path of destruction.
Mike Jolson of Santa Cruz remembers he was on a bus to Cabrillo College when the earthquake hit.
“Just seeing these glass big windows break and we pulled over and eventually the bus drove us to Cabrillo College where we heard you know that it was a big earthquake and downtown was leveled,” Jolson said.
Physical reminders remain – a plaque bearing the names of those who died and a memorial lamp post with two pictures of the earthquake victims.
“We did bounce back and that was good,” Jolson said. “Never was the same you know just the landscape of the town since but a resilient community.”
Scientists say we’re due for another “Big One“.
Seismologists are urging people to be prepared, download the “MyShake” app, the earthquake early warning app that is designed to provide potentially seconds of warning ahead of an earthquake – that’s seconds you can take cover under a table until the shaking ends.
Since the quake, authorities have scrambled to make sure area buildings and bridges would be safer when another major earthquake hit. Earthquakes happen without a warning. The Federal Emergency Mgmt Agency urges Californians to make an emergency plan.
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