History made in 15 seconds
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 20 years ago, the ground shook for just 15 seconds. In that brief time, the Bay Area was changed forever and the Loma Prieta earthquake would take its place among the great quakes.
There were already signs that October 17th, 1989, was not going to be just another Tuesday. The weather across the region was warm and still. San Francisco hit a high of 81 degrees. At Candlestick Park, the Giants and A's were about to play game three of the World Series.
The national broadcast of the game had just begun.
"One of the most spectacular vistas on this continent..." game announcer Al Michaels began. All eyes were turned to the 'Stick as he started the coverage of the World Series. "For the first time in 27 years the World Series game will be played in Candlestick Park. The Battle of the Bay continues," he continued.
Minutes later at 5:04 p.m., the World Series would be put on hold and the Bay Area would be shaken to its core.
"It shook and I mean it shook," one woman would later tell a reporter.
"I am just glad we're alive. But, there is nothing there. Everything is gone," another survivor would say.
The Loma Prieta quake registered 6.9. It lasted just 15 seconds but was felt from Los Angeles all the way up to Eureka.
In an instant, lives were changed. Landscapes were altered. Entire towns were devastated. Roads were severed.
"Oh my God, just look at that. The freeway has just completely collapsed," a TV anchor would tell viewers after the Bay Bridge buckled.
Lives were also lost. The quake killed 63 people throughout Northern California. It injured 3,757 and left more than 8,000 homeless.
Written and produced by Ken Miguel
'89 QUAKE FULL COVERAGE:
Web exclusive content commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. Includes extended interviews with reporters who covered the quake, as well as city officials and first responders who lived through it all.
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