Friday, October 17, 2014

25 years ago today: Loma Prieta

It doesn't feel like that much time has passed. It still feels like a "just yesterday" event. But no, twenty-five long years (to the day) have passed since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. It was the most recent moderately big quake to rock the Bay Area; with apologies to the residents of Napa, their jolt earlier this year just wasn't in the same league.

Four years ago I set down my memories of the day.

The Bay Area has become a magnet for cash-flush newcomers. It would be a good thing in the long run if these well-off folks would invest in making their homes (and for companies, their offices) quake-safe. There are a lot of older buildings that still aren't ready for the next big one: witness the damage in Napa. If gentrification is going to happen, there should be some kind of upside.

As for the rest of us, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Loma Prieta is as good a time as any to take stock of quake preparations. Ready.gov has a list of steps, as does the USGS. Bay Area-specific info is available at the Bay Area Earthquake Alliance's site.

Even if you don't live in California or other states known to be quake-prone, you should take a look at the quake preparedness tips. According to the USGS, of the fifteen largest quakes in the contiguous 48 states, three of them happened in New Madrid, Missouri and one in Charleston, South Carolina.

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