An independent umbrella group that supports Palo Alto neighborhoods
ashakeout stories Carl Darling
I will always remember the 89 Loma Prieta Earthquake. It is why I am an ESV today. Many parts of the earthquake could happen again, easily. I was on the 16th floor of 50 Beale St in downtown SF. I happened to be in the office at 5:05 pm. Ready to leave the office to watch the San Francisco-Oakland world series.
The windows shook / swayed, and we jumped under the desk next to us. The building was made in the 60s with plates made to sway and not break. It was the modern earthquake era. I was a floor warden by training of Bechtel Engineering dept. So I had been told to watch the windows pop glass on the street.
I happened to see no street damage? No one was injured to my surprise. I called my wife on the land line and heard that everyone was ok, and there was no house damage. When I called again, the line was out of order.
I had the VP of Engineering stop by the floor. So when it happened, I went down the stairs to see if there was street damage or people injured from glass. No?
When I walked the ground I saw several project managers and the VP of Engineering. He said we won’t be able to leave anyway, so we went to a popular place, Harrington’s Pub, in downtown San Francisco. They wheeled a piano on the street due to the inside being dark with no power. Several old local famous buildings that were brick had come down in the financial district. As we drank, the VP the paid the bill and we saw several people/ citizens directing traffic. No looting. It was possible to store my faith in humanity.
As it turned out, we heard on a portable radio that the police were busy with the marina district fire. I kept informed and knew the power was out and so I loaded the car later and drove to an open PUB with power near the San Mateo bridge. There people arranged to get picked up. They got home. The next week people were out and cracks in the building were repaired.
The moral of the story is an earthquake can happen at any time. And citizens will have to fill in. Now there is much more to the story.