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Loma Prieta Earthquake, October 18, 1989, Part 2

browse graphicThis collapsed and demolished building along Jefferson Street is typical of about 35 buildings that were eventually torn down. Note buildings that remain standing at left and at right top.
On October 17, 1989, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This earthquake is also known as the "San Francisco World Series Earthquake." The slide set focuses on the effects in San Francisco and Oakland. It highlights the damage in the Marina area of San Francisco. The set also includes photographs in the area south of Market Street where five deaths occurred, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and the Nimitz Freeway (I-880) where 41 deaths occurred. Movement occurred along a 40-km segment of the San Andreas fault from southwest of Los Gatos to north of San Juan Bautista. Measurements along the surface of the Earth after the earthquake show that the Pacific plate moved 1.9 m to the northwest and 1.3 m upward over the North American plate. The upward motion resulted from deformation of the plate boundary at the bend in the San Andreas fault. At the surface the fault motion was evident as a complex series of cracks and fractures. Even though the earthquake occurred in the remote Santa Cruz Mountains, it caused severe damage in San Francisco and Oakland 80 km to the north. This is somewhat unusual for an earthquake of this magnitude. Some of the statistical results of the disaster were: more than $7 billion in property damage (2.5 billion in San Francisco alone), 414 single-family homes destroyed, 104 mobile homes destroyed, 18,306 homes damaged, 97 businesses and 3 public buildings destroyed, 2,575 businesses damaged, 12,000 people displaced from homes and housed in shelters, 3,757 injuries, and 67 deaths. One of the areas in San Francisco that sustained major damage was the Marina District. This area was a lagoon at the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. During that earthquake the margins of the lagoon shook violently.However, after the 1906 earthquake, the lagoon was filled with sand and rubble of destroyed buildings to make a fairground for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. This fill area later became the site of an expensive real-estate development known as the Marina District. The unconsolidated soils amplified the shaking and became liquefied (behaved like a dense fluid) causing permanent deformation of the ground. This was one of the causes of the increased damage in the area. Construction practices also contributed to the damage. Some four-story buildings built above garages had inadequate lateral bracing. Thirty-five of the buildings in the Marina District were eventually torn down and 150 others were structurally damaged. The two major causes of structural failures were poor soil conditions and inadequate structural design. South of Market Street, several buildings between 5 and 10 stories high were damaged. Old masonry buildings were badly damaged, including a warehouse where collapse of fourth floor exterior walls killed five people parked in cars along the street. There were also severely damaged buildings in the Mission District. In Oakland, severe damage occurred to several mid-rise buildings and many old brick buildings in the downtown area. Primarily due to the effects of liquefaction, buried underground utilities such as gas pipelines, water lines, and sewer lines were heavily damaged. This left about one thousand homes without gas or water. As in the 1906 earthquake, fires in the Marina District could not be fought with city water because water mains had failed.One of the sources for concern produced by the earthquake is the damage or failure of transportation systems at comparatively large distances from the epicenter. The most deadly structural failure of the earthquake occurred when the upper deck of the Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) in Oakland fell onto the lower roadway causing an official death toll of 41. Another spectacular failure occurred on the Oakland Bay Bridge. Interstate 280, the Embarcadero Freeway, and Highway 101 at Fell Street were also damaged. In Oakland, Highway 980 and the MacArthur Maze developed cracks in the support columns. It will cost about $1.5 billion to rebuild state and local roads damaged in the earthquake. In addition to damage to roads, the Oakland International Airport, naval port, and the Alameda Naval Air Station runways were damaged by liquefaction. It is interesting to compare this earthquake with the slightly smaller (magnitude 6.9) Armenian earthquake of December 1988 that killed 25,000 people and destroyed entire towns. Good construction and engineering practices in the Loma Prieta area obviously contributed to the preservation of property and human lives.

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    Distribution Formats
    • TIFf
    • TIFF
    Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Point of Contact Heather McCullough
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    (303) 497-3707
    Heather.McCullough@noaa.gov
    Documentation links not available.
    Originator
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (comp)
    Publisher
    • National Geophysical Data Center
    Date(s)
    • publication: 1994
    Edition: First
    Dataset Progress Status Complete
    Data Update Frequency: Not planned
    Purpose: To provide long-term scientific data stewardship for the Nation's geophysical data, ensuring quality, integrity, and accessibility.
    Time Period: Unknown  to  Unknown
    Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
    N: 37.48
    S: -37.43
    E: 122.13
    W: -122.24
    Spatial Coverage Map:
    Themes
    • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Seismology > Earthquake Occurrences
    • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Tectonics > Faults
    • Photo
    • Natural Hazard
    • Interior & Crust
    • WDC/MGG, BOULDER > World Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Boulder
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Places
    • North and Central America > United States > California > Santa Clara > Loma Prieta
    • North and Central America > United States > California > Santa Cruz Mountains
    Use Constraints
    • Access Constraints: None Use Constraints: None Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
    Access Constraints
    • Access Constraints: None Use Constraints: None Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
    Fees
    • $25.00 plus handling and shipping outside the USA None $195.00/145.00 plus handling and shipping outside the USA
    Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.

    Metadata Last Modified: 2011-04-06

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