Loma Prieta Earthquake: 25th Anniversary in Pictures

The magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake struck on Oct. 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. The devastating shaking wrecked buildings and collapsed freeways from Watsonville north to West Oakland. With much of the country tuned in for the World Series at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, it was one of the world's first shared natural disasters. Twenty-five years and $30 billion dollars later, San Francisco has new waterfront, a new Bay Bridge and revived neighborhoods. [Read the full story on the anniversary here. ]

A car crushed under the third story of an apartment building in the Marina district. The lower stories can't be seen because of sinking due to liquefaction and structural failure. (Credit: J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey)

The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 also collapsed this section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (Credit: C.E. Meyer, USGS)

Support columns punctured this Highway 1 bridge when it collapsed at Struve Slough near Watsonville. (Credit: H.G. Wilshire, USGS)

During the 1989 earthquake, books and an air duct were dislodged. (Credit: J.K. Nakata)

This aerial view shows a collapsed five-story tower at St. Joseph's Seminary, caused by the Loma Preita earthquake in 1989. (H.G. Wilshire)

Rescuers wait to search for victims at the Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz. (Credit: C.E. Meyer)

Books in this bookstore were scattered all over the aisles during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. (Credit: J.K. Nakata)

The Loma Prieta earthquake created a crack system that destroyed this driveway southeast of Highway 17. (Credit: J.K. Nakata)

This house was moved laterally off its foundation by the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: J.K. Nakata)

A concrete divider on Highway 17 broken during the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: R.A. Haugerud)

This unreinforced-brick facade at Pacific Garden Mall collapsed after the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: C.E. Meyer)

The earthquake damaged the parapet and upper story of Downtown Liquors at Third and San Fernando in San Jose.  (Credit: C. Stover, USGS)

Damaged buildings along Beach Street in Watsonville. The temblor caused major damage in both downtown and residential areas of the city. (Credit: C. Stover)

This building in the Marina District was shored up after the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: D. Perkins, USGS)

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: E.V. Leyendecker, USGS)

The Cypress section of the Nimitz Freeway in West Oakland collapsed as a result of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Forty-two people were killed. (Credit: Wilshire, USGS)

A worker surveys the damage caused by the fire in San Francisco's Marina District. (Credit: FEMA)

A roadway cut in half by the Loma Prieta earthquake. (Credit: FEMA)

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Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.