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Remembering the Loma Prieta Earthquake 23 Years Later

Where were you during the 1989 earthquake? Are we better prepared for the next one?

Twenty three years ago, my younger sister and I were home alone. Everything in our East San Jose home began shaking. Without thinking twice, we ran into the hallway and stood there, transfixed.

I remember the walls undulating, watching as the movement grew larger and larger until I was sure the walls would buckle and everything would come crashing down.

The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake topped the Ricter Scales at 7.1 at 5:04 p.m. Oct. 17. The temblor lasted between 10 and 15 seconds but for many of us watching those walls wave sway back and forth, it felt much longer.

San Francisco, it seemed, took the brunt of the quake but Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz county did not go unscathed. In fact, the epicenter of the quake was in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Where were you during the quake? What do you remember? What was running through your mind? And are you prepared for the next one? Tell us in the comment below.

LoyolaAlum October 18, 2012 at 03:08 AM
October 17, 1989 & Jesuit Order It is ironic that October 17, 1989 marked the beginning of a chain of events that exposed the sex abuse of Jesuit Fr. Jerold Lindner’s friend, Br. Charles Connor. Connor and Lindner shared an interest in computers at the Los Gatos Jesuit Center. After the magnitude 6.9 World Series earthquake a Jesuit menial worker of the Los Gatos Jesuit Center walked to downtown Los Gatos to look at the destruction. He then met a store owner who was cleaning up. The friendship with the store owner eventually led to the discovery that Jesuit Br. Charles Leonard Connor, S.J., Jesuit Fr. Edward T. Burke, S.J. and other Jesuit clergy had allegedly sexually abused Jesuit menial workers at Los Gatos for as long as 20-years. The Jesuit Order decided to pay $7 million to keep the revelations out of court. The menial workers were able to move away from the Jesuit Order.

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