The epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 16 … The Cypress Freeway in Oakland pancaked. While the TV cameras focused on San Francisco and Oakland, the destruction wrought by the Loma Prieta earthquake spread through communities far to the south. “It was terrible, it was brutal.”. Summit Road Area, Santa Cruz Mountains. Disclaimer: Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. It also has links rather than files for the Adobe Acrobat Reader installer and the Fact Sheet mentioned below. CLICK HERE to view the version-history file (version_history.txt) for this publication in ASCII format. From the Archive is a weekly column by Bill Van Niekerken, the library director of The Chronicle, exploring the depths of the newspaper’s archive. We thank our colleagues: Richard Pike, for his thorough scrutiny of the entire manuscript; Robert Mark, for reviewing the computer section; Edward Helley, who originally reviewed Open-File Report 90-547; Evelyn (Newman) Billo, David Traudt, Sue Mayfield, Sara Boore, George Havach, Peter Stauffer, and Bob Page for facilitating authoring of this report; Todd Fitzgibbon, for a short course in HTML; and Jack Hillhouse, for supporting the project. CLICK HERE to view a slideshow (slideshow.pdf; 36 MB). Hundreds of homes were knocked off their foundations, with 1 in 8 houses destroyed — the highest per capita damage of the whole earthquake. “Then the rains made a mess of the job.”. Seen here October 18, 1989 Photo ran 10/21/1989, P. B1, Stephanie Garcia, 6, is eating soup provided by volunteers, to families in Callaghan Park in Watsonville because they're homes are unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 21, 1989, A relief truck navigates over the crumbling Redwood Lodge Road in the Santa Cruz mountains after the Loma Prieta earthquake, , October 23, 1989, A group of residents of Watsonville are staying in tents at the Watsonville High School because their homes are unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 21, 1989 Here a boy finds a shirt among the boxes of donated clothes, Earthquake expert Peter I. Yanov struggles to crawl back out of a destroyed building in Watsonville after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The shock was centered in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named for the nearby Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Dozens of houses in the Santa Cruz Mountains had either collapsed or slid off their foundations, leaving 200 people homeless in the area. The images in this file are 1024 x 768 pixels. Life after disaster: Chronicle’s oldest negatives show a return to normality in 1906, Bam! The town had already been behind in housing its residents when the quake hit. Seven people died in the county, and more than 800 were injured. Fire Road to Aptos Creek Trail and back. The images in this file are 600 dpi, sufficient resolution for making high-quality copies on most desktop printers. Trip highlights: earthquake damage to a natural landscape, landslides, fissures, sag ponds. The diagonal beams are the original ones, while the straight ones were added by Reid. 6 miles (4.2 miles in the summer); 2-3 hours; moderate; or strenuous as an 11-mile out-and-back continuing to Five Finger Falls. Boulder Creek resident Robert Buonasera narrowly missed going down with his house. As the 30th anniversary of the quake approaches, a search through our photo archive turned up dozens of dramatic photos — most never published — from the aftermath of the quake in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. “It was eerie,” Mardi Wormhoudt, then mayor, told Chronicle writer Carl Nolte 10 years later. The Red Cross set up shelters to house 450 people, but many stayed outside instead, fearful of buildings as aftershocks continued to come. • The big one: Long-forgotten Loma Prieta quake photos show disaster’s depths. The shaking lasted 20 seconds. October 26, 1989 Photo ran 11/01/1989, p. 10 Briefing Section, A group of residents of Watsonville are staying in tents at the Watsonville High School because their homes are unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 23, 1989 Photo ran 10/29/1989, P.6 Sunday Punch, Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains was lifted up and over by theLoma Prieta earthquake, October 17, 1989 Seen here somewhat repaired October 23, 1989, A group of residents of Watsonville line up for water from a large tanker on Main Street, after the Loma Prieta earthquake has damaged the water system.October 19, 1989. The epicenter was approximately 8 miles north-northeast of Santa Cruz and 50 miles from downtown San Francisco. The data for this publication total 606 MB on the CD-ROM and 564 MB for this online version. On October 17, 1989, at 5:04:15 p.m. (PDT), a magnitude 6.9 earthquake severely shook the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions. https://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-29, Date created: December, 1995 It can be easy to forget that Santa Cruz County was hit hard by the temblor on Oct. 17, 1989, when most of the memories seared into the collective consciousness are of the dramatic devastation around the Marina, the Embarcadero, the Bay Bridge and the Cypress Structure. Read hundreds of historical stories, see thousands of archive photos, and sort through 154 years of classic Chronicle front pages at SFChronicle.com/vault. 5. telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail: infoservices@usgs.gov, The URL of this page is This report is also available on CD-ROM from: USGS Information Services, Box 25286, For this column Bill scans and publishes 20-30 images from photos and negatives that haven’t been seen in many years. Though the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 lasted only for a duration of roughly 20 seconds, it was one of the worst earthquakes to have hit the San Francisco Bay Area in California; leaving over 63 people dead and injuring thousands more. Death, destruction, and havoc were again visited upon the San Francisco area in 1989. The Loma Prieta earthquake moved his house about a foot down the hill. By John K. Nakata, Charles E. Meyer, Howard G. Wilshire, John C. Tinsley, William S. Updegrove, D.M. • Changed region: All of our 30th anniversary coverage of the 1989 quake. “The drain was already under way before 1989; the Oct. 17 quake worsened it.”. Santa Cruz County towns, particularly Watsonville face problems rebuilding after after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 28, 1989, over 500 homes were destroyed. Contact Bill at bvanniekerken@sfchronicle.com and Taylor at taylor.brown@sfchronicle.com. In one rented home, “four young male farm workers were sleeping inside, ignoring the condemnation notice posted by city inspectors on the front door.”, “No place to go,” Raul Bacerrea, 23, told DelVecchio through a translator. “He remembered staggering outside, the Earth’s violent rocking throwing him down three times and the Jaguar parked outside bouncing so high off the dirt road he could see underneath it,” DelVecchio wrote. This folder was created in 2008 and contains .tif files as we received requests for them in this large, uncompressed, but common file format. He followed through. 1989 Earthquake Epicenter Area. Near the epicenter, earth itself had been torn apart. Its GPS coordinates are 37.036 N, 121.883 W. Our photographic coverage reflects the time and resources available immediately after the event and is not intended to portray the full extent of earthquake damage. “In the ensuing years, stores fled the 19th century vintage Main Street for outlying strip malls, and mainstay food-processing plants such as Green Giant deserted for Mexico,” he wrote in 2009. A San Francisco culture podcast, hosted by Peter Hartlaub. Charles G. Groat, Director. The earthquake occurred … Where. CLICK HERE to view a PDF version of the photographs (dd-29.pdf; 40 MB). Peterson, Stephen D. Ellen, Ralph A. Haugerud, Robert J. McLaughlin, G. Reid Fisher, and Michael F. Diggles, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR “Cracks up to 3 feet wide and a half-mile long snaked through the hills near the tremor’s epicenter.”. BRUCE BABBITT, Secretary, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY The earthquake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, classifying it as "major".The earthquake ran along the San Andreas Fault, the epicenter was located near the Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. : We found the winner of The Chronicle’s ‘Batmobile’ contest, Chess legend George Koltanowski: An archive deep dive of record-breaking chess champion and Chronicle columnist, Essential workers risk their health amid the pandemic. There was one death in Watsonville, and no significant Urban Search and Rescue requirements. Three were killed when an open-air shopping mall collapsed. CLICK HERE to browse the thumbnails (GIFs at about 192 x 128 pixels; /thumbs folder). He does research for reporters and editors and manages the photos, negatives and text archives. CLICK HERE to browse the screen-resolution images (JPEGs at about 768 x 512 pixels; /screens folder). (They were in commercial at the time, but came back as the shaking was still going on, and yes, it was strong enough to be felt that far from the epicenter.) CLICK HERE to browse the PCD image collection (PCDs at 3072 x 2048 pixels; /photocd folder). “Most stood wordless before the trench, awed by the jagged wound in the redwood forest,” the reporters wrote. The focal depth was 11 miles (typical California earthquake focal depths are 4 to 6 miles). At 5:04 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1989, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake with an epicenter in the forests above Aptos abruptly ended Central California's long seismic slumber. HDTV High-Definition Television—[1536 x 1024 pixels] Sufficient resolution for high definition TV, newspapers, and high-quality half-page layouts. In Santa Cruz, the quake brought significant damage to downtown. The earthquake caused severe damage in some very specific locations in the Bay Area, most notably on unstable soil in San Francisco and Oakland. 3 of 159 Civilians assist firefighters in extinguishing the massive block-long fire at Divisadero and Beach Streets in the Marina District, which was triggered by … High Resolution—[3072 x 2048 pixels] Provides the printing industry with resolution sufficient for high-quality full-page layouts at 300 dpi/150 lpi and 24-bit color. However, using the Universal Ektachrome or Universal Kodachrome transforms found in your software will provide excellent color. We especially thank Alpha CD Imaging of Menlo Park, Calif. for their technical assistance. This building housed a bicycle store and a law office before the quake. Candlestick Park, hosting the World Series, rocked and shivered. Strong shaking in the Loma Prieta earthquake lasted only about 15 seconds. While most of the nation's attention in the days after was focused on the Bay Area, the earthquake's epicenter was in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, much closer to Santa Cruz and Watsonville. “I prefer being out here,” Jill Bard said. (P.d.t. “The killer quake that walloped the Bay Area Tuesday tore gaping holes and ripped deep, ragged fissures in the rugged Santa Cruz Mountains where it was born,” reporters Tracie Thompson and Rick DelVecchio wrote a few days after the quake. Let's Work Together! Stories from the Epicenter. We expect that the shaking in the next 1906-type earthquake will probably not be much more intense than the shaking felt in 1989 near the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake, but it will last longer -- perhaps 45 to 60 seconds or more. “Downtown crumpled into the street,” Nolte wrote. The site is a quite a distance from the urban Bay area and San Francisco, where the tremors brought down bridges and houses. For users who have commercial software that can read and print PCD files, the photographs are provided in this publication in that format in the "photocd" folder. Screen Resolution—[786 x 512 pixels] Ideal for computer viewing and multimedia projects. A madrone tree and a big freezer in the basement kept the structure from tumbling down the ridge.”. CLICK HERE to browse the print-resolution images (TIFs at about 2000 x 3000 pixels; /tif folder). 2. The earthquake occurred when the crustal rocks comprising the Pacific and North American Plates abruptly slipped as much as 2 meters (7 ft) along their common boundary-the San Andreas fault system. Research was done using paper clippings, and cameras shot film. To get the slideshow to advance automatically in your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader, set File, Preferences, Full Screen, to Advance Every 2 Seconds. Subscribe to the Chronicle Vault newsletter and get classic archive stories in your in-box twice a week. Feel free to use any of these images but please cite the photographer and the U.S. Geological Survey. Loma Prieta, the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake. Figure 169 shows three simulated seismograms from the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta Earthquake. And downtown Santa Cruz largely ceased to exist. San Francisco earthquake of 1989, also called Loma Prieta earthquake, major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S., on October 17, 1989, and caused 63 deaths, nearly 3,800 injuries, and an estimated $6 billion in property damage. An earthquake shook the stadium during ABC's live broadcast. Here are the images and words of those who have, to varying degrees, risked their health to keep a nation working. The preview thumbnail and screen-resolution images listed above are in GIF and JPEG formats, respectively, but undergo resolution loss due to downsizing, compression and (or) color-palate reduction relative to the original Photo CD images provided below. Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains. “Some new buildings were standing as if nothing had happened at all. In the hierarchy of file formats, Photo CD (YCC) resides above BMP, EPS, GIF, JPEG, MOV, PCX, PICT, PSD, TIF, TIFF, etc., enabling end users to go from YCC to other formats, but not in the other direction without losing image quality. Aptos, California. It just took a pandemic for many to recognize it as such. The building was damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake and may have to be demolished , October 20, 1989, A search dog os checking rubble near a landslide on Bonny Down Beach in Santa Cruz County after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 23, 1989, Santa Cruz County towns face unique problems a year after after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 15, 1990, The De la Cruz and Shaffer boys play, as both families are sleeping out under the stars on Brewington Street in Watsonville because they worry homes are unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 19, 1989, A family in Watsonville who used to live in the house in the background now lives in this tent because their home is unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, November 15, 1989, A group of residents of Watsonville still I've in FEMA trailers a year after the Loma Prieta earthquake, October 9, 1990 Photo ran 10/15/1990, P. A4, Nine months after the Loma Prieta earthquake, Santa Cruz Hardware was located in a large tent, in a parking lot behind the site of Pacific Garden Mall, which was severely damaged by the quake, July 10, 1990, Photo: Deanne Fitzmaurice / The Chronicle 1990, Robert Buonasera removes from valuables from his house near Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains. The epicenter was located in the Santa Cruz mountains, near Loma Prieta peak, about 70 miles south of San Francisco. Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in Northern California on October 17 at 5:04 p.m. local time (1989-10-18 00:04 UTC). The digital images are stored in the "photocd" folder and can be read across Macintosh, Windows, DOS, OS/2, SGI, and UNIX platforms which have applications that can read Kodak's Photo-CD (YCC) file format. Thumbnail—[192 x 128 pixels] Contact-sheet-size images for quick previewing of the entire collection. 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