Here are the Bay Area’s two largest earthquakes of the past century:
6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake of 1989
The quake’s epicenter was located in the Santa Cruz mountains along the San Andreas fault. Fierce shaking lasted for an agonizing 15 seconds.
The force of its energy caused Bay Area freeways to crack and collapse, buildings to crumble on top of victims, and billions of dollars in damages. More than 60 deaths were directly caused by the quake and nearly 4,000 victims were injured.
The natural disaster is also known as the “World Series Earthquake” because it struck during a World Series baseball game at Candlestick Park between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.
7.9 magnitude San Francisco quake of 1906
The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time, according to the USGS.
The earth shook with so much energy from the San Andreas fault that it was felt from Los Angeles to Oregon.
“Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds. Today, its importance comes more from the wealth of scientific knowledge derived from it than from its sheer size,” the USGS wrote.
The earthquake ignited a massive fire in San Francisco. “Shaking damage, however, was equally severe in many other places along the fault rupture,” the USGS wrote.
Hundreds of victims were killed. “The frequently-quoted value of 700 deaths caused by the earthquake and fire is now believed to underestimate the total loss of life by a factor of 3 or 4. Most of the fatalities occurred in San Francisco, and 189 were reported elsewhere,” the USGS wrote.