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Earthquake: Loma Prieta

             Some individuals go through their lives never experiencing the tremendous effect of an earthquake. These people would be shocked to discover that there is about one every 87 seconds. Each day, there are about 100 very small earthquakes of magnitude 1-2. On average, the earth experiences 800 earthquakes a year capable of causing damage and 18 enormous earthquakes of magnitude 7 or larger, effective enough to cause total loss of towns and cities (McNutt 1). The destruction by earthquakes can be horrendous, taking lives and costing billions of dollars in property damage. Yet sometimes they can be so minor, to where you will never feel or see it coming. .
             II. What is an earthquake?.
             An earthquake is a geological event inside the earth that generates strong vibrations (Gale Group 1240). When the vibrations reach the surface, the earth shakes, often causing harm to natural and manmade objects. They sometimes kill and injure people and even destroy their property. This natural disaster can occur for a variety of reasons (Gale Group). However, the most common source of earthquakes is movement along a fault (Gale Group). Some earthquakes happen when tectonic plates, large sections on the earth's crust and upper mantle, move past each other. Earthquakes along the bay area in California occur for this reason. .
             III. Loma Prieta Earthquake.
             On the evening of October 17, 1989, people across the United States were watching TV waiting for the third game of baseball's World Series to begin at Candlestick Park (Donaghy 80). Instead, they became eyewitnesses to disaster (Donaghy). At 5:04 P.M. pacific daylight time, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred on the San Andreas Fault 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz. The earthquake occurred when the crust rocks comprising the Pacific and North American plates abruptly slipped as much as 7 feet along their common boundary. The 20-second earthquake was felt as far away as San Diego and Western Nevada.

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