Loma Prieta (1989)

California has been extremely fortunate in terms of the timing of its urban earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake of 1865, the Hayward quake of 1868, the 1906 San Francisco temblor, the 1971 San Fernando quake, and the 1994 Northridge event all struck in the early morning hours, when most Northern and Southern Californians were either home in bed or preparing to go to work or school. Even the tsunami generated by the 1964 Alaska earthquake that devastated downtown Crescent City in the northwest corner of the state arrived in the predawn hours. During these events people were scattered about, for the most part in single-family residences.