Saturday, October 18, 2014

25 Years Ago Yesterday

If you lived anywhere in or near the Bay Area of California in 1989, you will remember what occurred 25 years ago yesterday.  At 5:04PM on October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, causing damage to the San Francisco Bay area and surrounding counties, including Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito, whose county seat, Hollister, is where I have resided for most of my life.  The quake hit just as game three of the 1989 World Series was getting underway.  It thus became the first earthquake to be announced on live TV.

I had graduated from high school in June 1989, and was now attending community college.  I'd arrived home from my classes about an hour before the quake hit and was listening to music when I felt the ground beginning to rumble under my feet.  It  then hit me (no pun intended) that an earthquake was occurring.  It got longer and bigger.  It was only two weeks before Halloween and I was already feeling spooked.  As was everyone else I can bet.  It was soon revealed that the quake was a 7.1 magnitude.
Damage was everywhere that was hit by the quake and electricity was out for the next two days or so.  My town was devastated, and a lot of buildings were forced to be torn down.. A local movie theater that had been around for years sustained damage.  It was closed down and later burned down in a fire around June of 1990.  Only one place had an electricity, a local grocery store with its own power generator.  People from all over town were at the store, which had its workers gathered on tables in front of the store.  They were trying to buy emergency supplies.  My college classes were cancelled for the rest of the week.  The school administration then debated on whether we should make the days up, but eventually decided we would not have to.

Here is more on how Hollister was devastated by the earthquake.

The building on the corner of Fifth and San Benito was damaged in the quake, but was saved from demolition. Photo courtesy of

I was still shaken (no pun intended) in the days and weeks that followed.  Some people were fearful of possible aftershocks.

Here is yesterday's article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the 25th anniversary.

How do you remember that day in 1989?

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