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HISTORIC ARTICLE
HISTORIC ARTICLE

Oct 17, 1989 CE: Loma Prieta Earthquake

Oct 17, 1989 CE: Loma Prieta Earthquake

On October 17, 1989, the central coast of California experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake, the most damaging since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Grades

9 - 12

Subjects

Earth Science, Geology

On October 17, 1989, the San Francisco Bay area was jolted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake’s epicenter was near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The magnitude 6.9 quake was the most powerful the state had experienced in several years.

The Loma Prieta earthquake was triggered by the mighty San Andreas Fault, where the massive Pacific plate slips northwestward. During the quake, the epicenter slipped up to two meters.

The Loma Prieta earthquake caused 63 deaths, 3,757 injuries, and about $6 billion in damage. Many casualties occurred as parts of several transportation routes, including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a busy freeway, collapsed.

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Writer
National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

August 10, 2022

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