Big gallery of the Great San Francisco Earthquake

[Read the post]

1 Like



That is a very odd reaction, but maybe they’re just so happy to be alive?


It’s San Francisco: if the camera’s field of view was a little lower you’d be able to see that they’re both holding cocktails.


As a native Californian, I approve.

(Although I have to admit that if I could live in the Bay Area, I’d probably get multiple speeding tickets on the I-5 on my way north. :sunglasses:)

1 Like

“You know, we’re overdue for another big one!”

  • cheerily chirped at me by many CA natives whenever the subject of earthquakes came up in casual conversation.

“Yeah, but why do you sound so damn happy about it?”

  • drolly snarked by me in response


Ex-San Franciscan.

I’m now wondering what the time gap was between the Great Earthquake and the first Great Earthquake-themed party.

1 Like

Probably the first anniversary? SF was a wild place for about 100 years!

1 Like

My first earthquake experience was in 1983. I was living in the Sierra foothills and the Coalinga quake made us realize that we weren’t so immune from them.

My second earthquake was the Northridge and even though we lived in Costa Mesa, we could see the rolling of our slab foundation under our carpeting as we crouched in our bedroom doorway.

The earthquake that I experienced with the most damage around me at the time was on the Newport Inglewood fault (within the last 10 years?). It was considered weak (below 5.5, I believe), but the grocery store in the Seal Beach/Los Alamitos area where we were shopping got hit rather hard. Once the shaking stopped and we began to exit, we could see that the aisles were covered with ketchup, pasta sauces, and wine. They had to close for maybe 4-5 hours for clean up. But the grocery store across the boulevard? No damage at all. :confused:

All you can do is prepare and hope for the best.


I think it was the Whittier earthquake in 1989, so like a 5.5, and we were having marching band practice in the parking lot. You could see the cars do the wave, which was pretty cool. The rest of the school came out of the classrooms to stand around for a while, but our band director told us to just keep marching.


Praise logic, and amen.

Color me shocked.


1 Like

Ooh, that was the one that killed a person, right? It was a concrete wall slab?

Yeah. I don’t think people get this (rolling movement) until they actually witness it.

I don’t remember someone being killed in that one, but I was 15 and fairly oblivious back then.

I think it was Northridge (maybe?) that knocked down a freeway overpass on the 14, and a CHP officer drove right over it, because it was still dark. That must have been horrible for him.

I was on the freeway in 1991 for one, and didn’t realize it had even happened until I got to my destination and everyone was standing outside. I way playing a tape and not the radio, so again, oblivious.

The rolling is pretty wild, though, and fun if no one is hurt.

No, it’s the [Whittier Narrows 1987 earthquake] ( that I’M thinking about, which was a 5.9.

Here’s a link [from the L.A. Times extra that first reported it as a 6.0.] (

Maybe yours was an aftershock?

If it happened at 7:42, that would have been first period, which started at 7:30. I think that’s the one I was thinking of.

And for those of us north of California there is that whole next time the Juan De Fuca plate does it’s thing.


And we’re still driving on the Nisqually earthquake damaged viaduct that’s the same as the Cypress Street Viaduct in Oakland that collapsed in the '89 earthquake.

Edited because I thought it was the SF one (also demolished after the same earthquake?), not the Oakland one - learn something every day…


cause we got all enamored of having a tunnel made by THE BIGGEST TUNNEL BORING MACHINE EVAR! what could possibly go wrong.
can’t have all that new hot new downtown condo development see another ugly bridge now can we?


I’ve noticed that longtime residents often have similar attitudes about whatever natural disasters frequent their particular area. People who live in the Northeast take pride in their ability to weather blizzards. Life in the Gulf Coast returns to normal shortly after most hurricanes (at least the ones that don’t breach levees and drown cities). Some Midwesterners actively chase tornadoes for the sheer excitement of capturing them on video. Volcano eruptions are such an integral part of life in Hawaii that they used to WORSHIP the dang things.

But take people from just about any part of the country and show them a natural disaster they’re not familiar with and they’ll just shake their head and wonder why anyone would live in a place where that kind of thing can happen.

Fair point, there. In Cali I guessed what bothered me was how ironically upbeat so many people seemed about it; like they were looking forward to it.

Yeah, I can say this as a Midwestern native; those people are just idiotic adrenaline junkies…