The 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake killed 63 in 1989. Decades later, the Bay Area is still plagued by structural threats and flammable fuels
On the afternoon of 17 October 1989, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people and causing $13bn in damages as it toppled a chunk of the Bay Bridge, colapsed a section of freeway in Oakland, and crumbled thousands of buildings from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.
Thirty years later, California will launch an earthquake early warning app, the first to cover the whole state, developed by UC Berkeley and the California Office of Emergency Services. The decades since the Loma Prieta quake have been remarkably quiet – yet it’s not a matter of if, but when, the next large earthquake will rattle the Bay Area, and the consequences will undoubtedly be severe.