PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Damage caused to the Nimitz freeway, Oakland, California, during the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17th 1989. A two-kilometre stretch of the Cypress St section of the freeway collapsed when support piers gave way, sending the upper deck of this two-tiered elevated roadway crashing down on the lower. About 80 people are thought to have been crushed in their cars. The earthquake, which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale, was named after a region in the Santa Cruz Mountains close to the epicentre, about 100-km south of San Francisco. The rupture occurred, at a depth of 18 kilometres, along part of the San Andreas Fault, the boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates.
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