Loma Prieta Earthquake Stories

I was working at an after school program in Orinda, I was with several children in the homework room when I looked up and saw the lights starting to sway- eyes on the lights, I called out-“duck and cover”-but then looking down, I saw that all the kids were already under the tables. (yeah, California earthquake drills!) After the tremor ended, I took the kids over to the main room to join the rest of the kids and staff. The director thought it would be a good idea to turn on the World Series, the first image on the tv was of the Bay Bridge collapse, I quickly yanked the cord from the wall and suggested we feed the kids to help keep theirs minds off the earthquake, so pb and j sandwiches all around, games of charades, breaking out the coveted smelly markers for drawing kept everyone occupied as the parents started to filter in to pick up their children. One parent came in, very pale and shaky and told me he had just crossed the Cypress structure- looked behind him and it was gone. Surprisingly, everyone was picked up by 6:30pm- only a half hour after our closing time.
At my home in Walnut Creek, I experienced one of the aftershocks, actually saw the tremor rolling toward me as the floor boards gently rose and felt it as it rolled under me.

Mim January 17, 2015

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The Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred on October 17, 1989, is the most recent large earthquake to strike the San Francisco Bay Area. Many individuals and families have stories and memories related to this damaging earthquake. To help us preserve these precious stories and learn more about the earthquake, please share your story and memories with us.

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