• Dec 30, 2010
CHP responds to the '89 San Francisco Earthquake – Click above to watch video after the jump

On October 17, 1989 at approximately 5:04 pm Pacific Standard Time, the San Andreas Fault shifted and a massive earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area. Called the Loma Prieta Earthquake, it was the largest seismic event for this fault-line since 1906. Sixty-three people lost their lives and nearly 4,000 were injured. The physical damage caused by the quake was estimated to cost around $11 billion, but of course the mental and emotional toll could never be tallied.

Shortly after the earthquake struck, the California Highway Patrol sprung into action. The efforts of the CHP, as well as the devastation caused by the quake, were captured in a 22 minute, 58 second video that is part of the public record. It's an intriguing look back at an extremely difficult moment in California's history that will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it firsthand. Click past the jump to view the clip.

[Source: YouTube]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great to see it from the CHP's perspective. This is why I pray every time I drive over the bay area bridges!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear Seattle: Replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct now or this is your future.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was playing outside in our yard in San Jose when this earthquake hit. It was crazy. Our porch almost caved in on me and my sisters. Our neighborhood was a mess afterwards. Haven't experienced one that big since, but found myself in Manhattan on 9/11. :-/
      • 4 Years Ago
      I do remember when that happened... I was only 14 and that that was the scariest thing! What has happened to bring this up for today, though?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The video, while old, is new to Youtube... it's random but at the same time interesting

        (also, this tends to be a slow week for news...)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was stopped at a red light on Valencia and 23rd on my way home. Everything started going crazy. The huge windows on the bank in the corner started to flex and bow. Then, glass started breaking everywhere. Cars were sliding around and tires were screeching, but not spinning. Every streetlight was out the rest of the way home and traffic was miserable. Spent the rest of the night listening to the radio until the power came back on around 10pm. Quite a day!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was walking in the redwoods near Boulder
      Creek, about 15 miles from the epicenter on that afternoon.
      At first I heard a roar, then shaking began.

      I got down and did sort of a Cossack dance, so I wouldn't fall over and could keep an eye out for falling trees or branches all around.

      Nothing fell, no damage to the natural surroundings. I felt a tremendous rush, feeling the power and sensing the mass of the earth. I jumped in my '74 Civic and headed in to town.

      The first person I met was a boy about 10 giving his little sister a ride on his bicycle. He hollered, "Did you feel that quake?", and I shouted "Yeah!" We were so stoked!

      It wasn't til I got into Santa Cruz that the seriousness of the event struck me. Bricks were strewn all across the street up and down the old mall area. It just amazes me that more people weren't killed in that town.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ahh, poor Tercel, I love that generation of Tercel, they were probably the best version, whether the 2 door sedan, 4 door sedan, or the super cool SR-5 hatchback. I wish I could restore that thing. That was a time when Toyota was passionate about building great cars, and that car really showed how precisely engineered even a cheap small car could be. It was awesome that even a small car had electronic controls even back then (Electronic 2 bbl carb, electric fan, etc). Then Tercel's got worse and worse, losing that cool Independant rear suspension for a stupidly cheap twist beam. The SR-5 versions were cool because in other markets you got a Turbo'd version of that 1.5L. Does anyone remember a time when Toyota offered AWD versions or (All-Trac) of all their cars? Tercel, Corolla, Camry, Celica all had AWD optional, super cool!

      Back to the point though, this was a real tragedy, and the way things are going, it is only likely to happen again in the region. Pretty darn scary though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A Toyota Hilux would prob survive.

        in all seriousness, when this happened i was a young boy and it horrified me. it makes me shiver to think about what the people who were trapped under the second story of I-880 had to go through. my thoughts and prayers still go out to all the victims and their families.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That'll buff right out. Though the seat stains from the guy in the car probably would warrant total replacement there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a scary time it must have been.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, I'll never forget that evening. My brother and I were watching TV, waiting for Game 1 of the Bay Bridge World Series to start, when the earthquake struck, and Al Michaels said, "I think that was an earthquake." The cameras around Candlestick Park swung around to catch the fires burning in the Marina District, and the TV coverage switched from the baseball game to live earthquake coverage. The collapse of the Cypress Section was scary for me, as I had driven on that thing two years earlier.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ah, the 80's, nothing good came out of the 80s,
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't think of a better decade than the 80s.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Need more Lutz... I use the same avatar/photo of Lutz in other accounts around the web. Good one!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know the main contractor who repaired the double decker. He was promised 100K/day for finishing early. He finished 3 MONTHS early. Yep - his BONUS was 9.1M.
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