PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Emergency services at work in the Marina district of San Francisco on October 18th 1989, the day following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Buildings in this area were constructed about 75 years ago over an old landfill site topped with local sand. Many of them had timber frames so inadequately anchored to their concrete foundations that they literally slipped off during the quake. Measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake 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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