Twenty-four years ago today, at 5:04 pm Pacific time, the Loma Prieta earthquake - the largest to occur on the San Andreas fault since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 - shook the bay area, killing 57 people and causing over six billion dollars in property damage.
24 yrs ago, I was skating down the street when all do the sudden there were ripples in the road like a rock dropped in a pond…. I road the wavy hills up and down the street until they subsided not putting it together yet, that we just had the biggest quake in my lifetime…. The fun gave way to concern as we couldn’t get in touch w my father for house, stuck in a warehouse in Oakland that had a wall collapse… We all faired well in the end and a memorable event I still carry.
Shit! This just happened in the south tip of Maine… felt all the way down to New York…
The San Francisco Guide to the Richter magnitude scale is as follows:
1.0 = No such thing. It’s like the number zero. It lives only in theory. Scientists say it exists, but whatever.
2.0 = Please. Don’t waste our motherfucking time.
3.0 = A cough. A burp. A hiccup. Same difference. Except without the noise.
4.0 = Was that a …? No. Yes. Undetectable to travelers in cars, buses, subways. The chandelier shakes, but does not swing.
5.0 = The chandelier swings. People act like shit happened, but nothing really happened. FOX News runs multiple clips of disorderly supermarket aisles. Maybe a cleanup on aisle 5. Was that a car alarm?
6.0 = Shit happened. Ruptured water mains. Minor looting in the Tenderloin. Tenants of skyscrapers soil themselves. Why, O why did the city fathers build directly on top of a fault line? Surely the Ohlone knew this land was cursed. Foolish white man! But the views! O, the views!
7.0 = 1998 redux. How’s that Bay Bridge repair going? Not so speedy? Too bad. FEMA can’t help you now, bitch. The barter value of bottled water, candles and board games increases by a factor of five. Persons with smart phones have the power of feudal lords.
8.0 = Behold, the Wrath of God. Old Testament comparisons to Sodom become painfully apt. Witness undulating waves of earth. Aftershocks for days. The Marina and the Embarcadero have liquefied. What was once “Nob Hill” is now just “Nob”. Life resembles the worst kind of apocalyptic anime. Earth, Wind & Fire are no longer a 70’s band. Half your Facebook contacts are dead.
9.0 = What San Francisco?