23 years after Loma Prieta quake

(KTSF by Sean Au)

The Loma Prieta Earthquake happened 23 years ago. Measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake killed 63 people and wounded more than 3,700. It was also a wake up call for Bay Area authorities to plan for future big earthquakes. Today, education continues for residents here to learn how to prepare for a disaster caused by a strong earthquake.

It was Oct 17, 1989. Susan Garcia was getting ready to watch the World Series Game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s with her family in her Belmont home. The strong shaker broke some dishes in her home and brought some lessons to her doorstep.

“After that, I became more informed, learnt what I needed to have at home, more water, flash light, batteries for the flash light, all the necessary supplies that my family needs,” says Garcia.

The US Geological Survey’s studies show that within the thirty years beginning 2007, there is a 63% chance that the Bay Area will be hit by an earthquake that is stronger than 6.7 on the Richter scale, and the most likely occurence will be on the Hayward fault.

Bay Area Red Cross says six years ago, there is only 6% of Bay Area residents know what to do when a strong quake strikes. After years of education efforts, this figure has risen to 22%. “The Bay Area is a transient community because people leave and new people come in, so we continually find it important to get the word out,” says Harold W. Brooks, Executive Director of Bay Area Red Cross.

People first need to know to Drop, Cover and Hold, when an earthquake hits.

The non-profit Californian Earthquake Authority, which provides earthquake insurance, says that only one in ten households here has earthquake insurance. They hope that legislation in Congress can help lower insurance premiums through federal guarantees so that the organization can help to insure more families against earthquakes.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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