Aftershocks: The Legacy of Loma Prieta

by John Prendergast, Civil Engineering; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 1, Pg. 46-49

Document Type: Feature article


It wasn't the fabled Big One--quite--but it came close enough. The Magnitude 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake that struck just after 5:00 p.m. on October 17, 1989 killed 63 people and hospitalized 350 more, causing an estimated $10 billion in damage. The earthquake's epicenter was in the Southern Santa Cruz Mountains segment of the San Andreas fault in a mostly rural area, but the most dramatic and costly damage occurred in San Francisco and Oakland, 50-60 mi away. Four years later, the most studied event in U.S. history is still giving seismic experts in California and across the country a lot to think about. The article gives an overview of developments, including Caltrans' bridge seismic retrofit program, progress on mitigating unreinforced masonry buildings, impacts elsewhere in the country, and prospects for the next earthquake.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Damage (structural) | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Earthquake magnitude scale | Light rail transit | Mountains | Geological faults | California | United States

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