’89 Quake’s Widespread Damage: From San Francisco to Salinas

A look back in pictures, as compiled by USGS photographers, of the widespread damage and impact caused by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

101 photos
1/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Ground view of collapsed building and burned area shown in photo 4, Beach and Divisadero, Marina District. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
2/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Tom Brokaw of NBC News prepares script for a live broadcast from the Marina District. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
3/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Side view of support-column failure and collapsed upper deck, Cypress viaduct. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
4/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Cars crushed by collapsing brick facade near Fifth and Townsend Streets. At this locality, five people were killed while leaving from work. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
5/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Crushed car near the intersection of Fifth and Townsend Streets, South of Market. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
6/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of collapsed buildings and burned-out section at Beach and Divisadero Streets, Marina District. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
7/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Demolition of collapsed building and watering down of burned area, October 18, 1989, Beach and Divisadero Streets, Marina District. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
8/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Absence of adequate shear walls on the garage level exacerbated damage to this structure at the corner of Beach and Divisadero Streets, Marina District. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
9/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Entrance and garage level of a Beach Street apartment complex in danger of collapse, Marina District. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
10/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
An automobile lies crushed under the third story of this apartment building in the Marina District. The ground levels are no longer visible because of structural failure and sinking due to liquefaction. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
11/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Collapsed brickwork from a corner apartment building, Marina District. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
12/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Smoldering remains of the apartment complex at the corner of Beach and Divisadero Streets, Marina District. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
13/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
A search and rescue team, Marina District. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
14/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Electric wires being removed from unstable towers by city utility workers. Arresting sparks from broken wires was a priority in those areas with broken gas mains. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
15/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of roadbed collapse near the interface of the cantilever and truss sections of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. View northwestward. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
16/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of the collapsed section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. View westward. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
17/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Sand boil or sand volcano measuring 2 m (6.6 ft) in length erupted in median of Interstate Highway 80 west of the Bay Bridge toll plaza when ground shaking transformed loose water-saturated deposit of subsurface sand into a sand-water slurry (liquefaction). Vented sand contains marine-shell fragments. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
18/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of collapsed sections of the Cypress viaduct of Interstate Highway 880. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
19/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of collapsed sections of the Cypress viaduct of Interstate Highway 880. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
20/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Reinforcement bars exposed at the base of the Cypress viaduct near 14th Street. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
21/101
Remnant portion of the north- and south-bound Cypress viaduct exposing box girders near 14th Street. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
22/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Support-column failure and collapsed upper deck, Cypress viaduct. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
23/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Bent reinforcement bars in failed support column, Cypress viaduct. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
24/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Closeup of damaged reinforcement bars from a Cypruss viaduct support column. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
25/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Pancaked upper deck, Cypress viaduct. Guard rail at right is on lower deck. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
26/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Sheared reinforcement bar, Cypress viaduct. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
27/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Temporary support structures emplaced to prevent further collapse, Cypress viaduct. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
28/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Demolition of Cypress structure near 14th Street. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
29/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
A downtown building at the corner of Alice and 13th Streets lost part of its unreinforced facade and brick masonry. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
30/101
D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey
Cliff failure just south of San Gregorio Beach. Slide is 18.3 m (60 ft) high and displaces approximately 6881 cubic meters (9,000 cubic yards) of material. Large boulders are 1 m (3 ft) across. [D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey]
31/101
D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey
Cliff failure north of Tunitas Creek. This face continued to slide for a few days after the earthquake. The event in progress exposed dark cliff material. [D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey]
32/101
D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey
Landslide north of Fort Funston. Slide mass contains approximately 2,830 cubic meters (3,700 cubic yards) and is 30 m (100 ft) high. Photo 35 provides an aerial view of this slide. [D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey]
33/101
D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey
Headscarp of small slide at Redondo Beach. Scale is provided by the red-handled rock hammer, which is 30.5 cm (12 in.) long. [D.M. Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey]
34/101
S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of large slides north of Fort Funston. A ground perspective of this slide is shown in photo 33. [S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey]
35/101
S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of slide at Daly City. This is the largest slide triggered by the earthquake in San Mateo County, displacing approximately 36,700 cubic meters (48,000 cubic yards) of material. The base is about 152 m (500 ft) across at its widest point. [S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey]
36/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
KGO radio transmission towers, built on bay mud in a salt-evaporation pond used by the Leslie Salt Company. Note progressively less damage to towers away from viewer. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
37/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Unfastened bookcases in an office building fell during the primary shock. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
38/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Books and air-conditioning duct were dislodged during earthquake. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
39/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Seismographs at the U.S. Geological Survey record the (1) north-south horizontal, (2) east-west horizontal and (3) vertical components of the October 17th earthquake. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
40/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of collapsed five-story tower, St. JosephÍs Seminary. One person working in tower was killed. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
41/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Aerial view of collapsed five-story tower, St. JosephÍs Seminary. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
42/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Nontectonic surface rupture across Highway 280 at the interface of a roadcut and fill area 2.5 km (1.5 mi) north of Foothill Expressway. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
43/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
The cement retaining walls along Highway 280 deformed in accordion-like pattern as a result of lateral compression. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
44/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Failure of unreinforced brick masonry caused collapse of the upper floor in downtown Los Gatos. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
45/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Photograph taken in a ceramics shop during an aftershock. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
46/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Books lie scattered in aisles of a downtown bookstore. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
47/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Many residents camped in their yards after the earthquake. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
48/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Personal messages posted on van at Emergency Center. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
49/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Vehicle crushed by collapse of unreinforced-brick masonry. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
50/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Failure of porch on frame house. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
51/101
R.A. Haugerud, U.S. Geological Survey
Drain grating shows the effects of lateral compression. [R.A. Haugerud, U.S. Geological Survey]
52/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Downtown sidewalk buckled due to compression. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
53/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Crack system with 1.2 m (4 ft) of vertical displacement across a clay tennis court; fracture passes across retaining wall and up slope beyond view. West of Summit Road, southeast of Highway 17. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
54/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
A crack system destroys driveway adjacent to summit road 0.8 km (1/2 mi) southeast of Highway 17. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
55/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
A geologist traces surface cracks in a corral adjacent to summit road approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) southeast of Highway 17. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
56/101
R.J. McLaughlin, U.S. Geological Survey
Northwest-trending extensional crack where dam fill settled about 0.6 m (2 ft) and pulled away from concrete spillway and north abutment of Austrian Dam. [R.J. McLaughlin, U.S. Geological Survey]
57/101
G.R. Fisher, U.S. Geological Survey
Prominent northwest-trending extensional cracks up to 12 cm (4.7 in.) wide in concrete spillway to Austrian Dam, north abutment. [G.R. Fisher, U.S. Geological Survey]
58/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Geologist exchanging information with rescue personnel. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
59/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Bedroom showing effects of the earthquake. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
60/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
House destroyed by failure of downslope support piers. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
61/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
House moved laterally off cement foundation. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
62/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Collapsed garage built on fill. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
63/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Construction on fill and the absence of adequate shear walls ccontributed to the failure of this structure. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
64/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
House torn off its foundation by the main shock. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
65/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Landslide debris blocks both eastbound lanes of Highway 17 near Summit Road. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
66/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Landslide debris blocks both eastbound lanes of Highway 17 near Summit Road. Foreground material is damaged lane separators. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
67/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
This roadcut near Summit Road failed during the initial earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. To mitigate further sliding, Caltrans decreased the slope angle. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
68/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Surve
Damaged lane separators, Highway 17. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
69/101
R.A. Haugerud, U.S. Geological Survey
Broken concrete divider near the intersection of Summit Road and Highway 17. [R.A. Haugerud, U.S. Geological Survey]
70/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Clock tower near north end of Pacific Garden Mall. Not known if clock was fast or if it ran for about 6 minutes after the earthquake. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
71/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Bicycles crushed by falling unreinforced brick facade, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
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C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Collapsed unreinforced-brick facade, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
73/101
C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Rescue efforts, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
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C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Removal of debris while searching for victims, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
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C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Searching for victims at collapsed department store, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
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C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey
Storefront damage, Pacific Garden Mall. [C.E. Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey]
77/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
"Unsafe to occupy" signs were posted by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
78/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Collapsed outer wall of the Medico Dental Building, Pacific Garden Mall. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
79/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Closeup of collapsed wall of unreinforced masonry, Medico Dental Building in the Pacific Garden Mall. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
80/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Liquefaction in recent deposits of San Lorenzo River caused cracking and differential settling of river levee southeast of Riverside Avenue Bridge. Bridge piers and the north abutment area were also damaged by liquefaction. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
81/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Landslide-displaced trees reflect earthquake-triggered slope failure along coastal bluff, New Brighton Beach area, Santa Cruz County. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
82/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Liquefaction in recent deposits of the Pajaro River formed these sand volcanoes along extensional fissures in a field prepared for autumn planting near Pajaro, across the Pajaro River from Watsonville. Furrows are spaced about 1.2 meters (4 feet) apart. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
83/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Vent of sand volcano produced by liquefaction is about 4 feet across in strawberry field near Watsonville. Strip spanning vent is conduit for drip irrigation system. Furrow spacing is about 1.2 meters (4 feet) on center. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
84/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Liquefaction in recent deposits of the Pajaro River formed sand volcanoes along a fissure 6-7 meters (19.7-23 feet) in length. Variation in grain size and partial erosion of the conical deposits of sand show that venting of the slurry of sand and water was a complex series of depositional and erosional events triggered by the main shock and renewed in some instances by principal aftershocks. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
85/101
S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey
Ground shaking triggered liquefaction in a subsurface layer of sand, producing differential lateral and vertical movement in a overlying carapace of unliquified sand and silt, which moved from right to left towards the Pajaro River. This mode of ground failure, termed "lateral spreading", is a principal causet of liquefaction-related earthquake damage. [S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey]
86/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Crack down front of Ford's Department Store, downtown Watsonville. Although this fracture appears minor, the building suffered significant damage. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
87/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Houses not bolted down securely were easily dislodged from their foundations in downtown Watsonville. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
88/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Many homeowners buttressed their foundations to prevent further damage from aftershocks in downtown Watsonville. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
89/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Broken utility lines in house that shifted off its foundation, downtown Watsonville. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
90/101
91/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
This house was dislodged from its foundation and moved 0.75 meters (2.5 feet) from the cement stairway in downtown Watsonville. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
92/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Structural failure of twin bridges carrying Highway 1 across Struve Slough, near Watsonville. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
93/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Close-up of collapsed bridge section on Highway 1 at Struve Slough. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
94/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
Failure at the joist/columns interface contributed to the collapse of elevated road bed on Highway 1. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
95/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Support columns of Highway 1 bridge across Struve Slough protrude through road bed. This resulted from collapse of the road bed after the effects of lateral shaking shown in photo 98. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
96/101
H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Support column of bridge across Struve Slough, Highway 1. Enlargement of hole where support enters the ground is an effect of lateral shaking. which caused the concrete to break up where the column joined the bridge and was instrumental in the roadbed collapse. [H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]
97/101
J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey
A fracture cuts the road bed, curbs and railings on the collapsed portion of Highway 1 at Struve Slough. [J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey]
98/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Liquefaction and subsequent strong tidal action destroyed causeway carrying the Moss Beach access road across tidewater basin near Moss Landing. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
99/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Ground cracking and differential settlement owing to liquefaction of beach and Salinas River deposits damaged approach and abutment of bridge linking Moss Landing spit to the mainland, near Moss Landing Marine Laboratory. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
100/101
S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey
Differential settlement due to liquefaction caused cracking of paved road on Paul's Island. [S.D. Ellen, U.S. Geological Survey]
101/101
J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey
Partially razed earthquake-damaged unreinforced masonry buildings in Old Town historical district, City of Salinas. [J.C. Tinsley, U.S. Geological Survey]
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