Loma Prieta Earthquake - Facts and Statistics
The Loma Prieta Earthquake occurred on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) and lasted for about 15 seconds. The United States Geological Survey gave it a magnitude of 7.1. It was felt over an area of about 400,000 square miles.
The rupture occurred on a 30-mile length of the San Andreas fault called the Santa Cruz Mountains segment. The epicenter was eleven and a half miles underground at a spot near China Ridge in Nisene Marks State Park. The land on the seaward side of the fault slipped five and a half feet northwest.
Six persons in Santa Cruz County died; it is estimated that 671 persons were injured.
Santa Cruz County was the hardest hit county and had the highest number of homes damaged or destroyed. It is estimated that "at least 85,000 persons were adversely affected by earthquake damage to their homes." Many homes were so badly damaged that they were condemned. Many other damaged homes could be saved but were unsafe to live in until they were repaired. Individuals and families found themselves suddenly homeless, living in shelters, with friends or with family.