Loma Prieta 20th anniversary: an introduction


The Bay Area is about to get a major dose of 20th anniversary coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake of Oct. 17, 1989, which killed 63 people and injured over 3000.

If you weren’t here, the SFGate website is revving up coverage, and this 10-minute video is a good place to start. In the meantime, here’s a short glossary of terms you’ll hear thrown around for the next week:

Loma Prieta
A 3786-foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Google map) between Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz which gave its name to the earthquake, the epicenter of which was nearby.
1989 World Series (“Battle of the Bay”)
The baseball championship series between the American League-winning Oakland A’s and the National League-winning San Francisco Giants, Game 3 of which was about to get underway when the earthquake hit. The World Series ensured that the Goodyear blimp and other national TV infrastructure was on scene to cover the earthquake.
Cypress Structure
An elevated double-deck freeway structure, built in the late 1950s, which collapsed during the quake (picture above); part of Interstate 880 through West Oakland. Site of the most deaths from the earthquake.
Marina District
A San Francisco neighborhood built on bay fill soil which liquified during the quake, leading to building collapses, a gas leak, and the worst fire caused by the quake.

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