31 years later: Remembering Loma Prieta earthquake

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – 31 years ago today, the unimaginable happened.

On October 17th, 1989 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rattled northern California. The Loma Prieta quake lasted 15 seconds and killed 63 people.

Buildings and structures were heavily damaged. Part of the Bay Bridge collapsed and houses were burned. The epicenter of the quake was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and it caused about $6 billion worth of damage.

Many remember exactly where they were when tragedy struck. Some were about to watch a World Series game between San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

SAN FRANCISCO – OCTOBER 17: General view of the crowds in Candlestick Park after an earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the richter scale, rocks game three of the World Series between the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on October 17, 1989 in San Francisco, California. Despite some discussion to cancel, baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent agrees to allow the series to continue. Play resumed October 25, and the A’s go on to sweep the Giants in four games. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO – OCTOBER 17: General view of the Marina district disaster zone after an earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the richter scale, rocks game three of the World Series between the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on October 17, 1989 in San Francisco, California. Despite some discussion to cancel, baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent agrees to allow the series to continue. Play resumed October 25, and the A’s go on to sweep the Giants in four games. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO – OCTOBER 17: Emergency workers prop up a collapsed building in the Marina district disaster zone after the earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the richter scale, rocks game three of the World Series between the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on October 17, 1989 in San Francisco, California. Despite some discussion to cancel, baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent agrees to allow the series to continue. Play resumed October 25, and the A’s go on to sweep the Giants in four games. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 15: In this before-and-after composite image, (Top) A view of the doorway to a damaged apartment building on Beach Street near Divisadero Street following the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C.E. Meyer/U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library via Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 15: (Bottom) A view of a garage at an apartment building on Beach Street that was built after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake on October 15, 2014 in San Francisco, California. It has been 25 years since the 7.0 Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04PM on October 17, 1989 causing widespread damage to buildings and roadways. 63 people died and nearly 4,000 were injured. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 15: In this before-and-after composite image, (Top) The collapsed upper deck of the Cypress viaduct of Interstate 880 after the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989 in Oakland, California. (Photo by H.G. Wilshire/U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library via Getty Images) OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 15: (Bottom) A car drives along Mandela Parkway where the Cypress viaduct of Interstate 880 used to stand on October 15, 2014 in Oakland, California. It has been 25 years since the 7.0 Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04PM on October 17, 1989 causing widespread damage to buildings and roadways. 63 people died and nearly 4,000 were injured. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Since the quake, authorities have scrambled to make sure area buildings and bridges would be safer when another major earthquake hit. Earthquakes happen without a warning. The Federal Emergency Mgmt Agency urges Californians to make an emergency plan.

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