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In this photo taken Oct. 17, 1989, a California Highway Patrol Officer checks the damage to cars that fell when the upper deck of the Bay Bridge collapsed onto the lower deck after the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. / Steve Ringman, AP

Sunday's 6.0 quake near the Bay Area was the largest earthquake to hit the area since the deadly Loma Prieta quake almost 25 years ago, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

However, this quake was nowhere near as powerful: The 1989 earthquake was more than 22 times stronger than Sunday's quake.

That 6.9 magnitude quake killed 63 people, injured more than 3,700 and did nearly $6 billion in damage on Oct. 17, 1989, according to the USGS. It severely shook the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions and occurred during the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's.

"I was at the game at Candlestick Park," recalled USA TODAY publisher Larry Kramer when reached by phone Sunday morning. During the quake, "the stands felt like they were rumbling below, and the light poles were swaying. Everybody got scared when the power went out."

Due to all the gas line fires, "it looked like the whole city was on fire."

The 1989 quake was centered about 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the infamous San Andreas Fault. It occurred along about 22 miles of the fault at a depth of roughly 4 to 12 miles, the USGS noted in a 1996 report.

Due to its strength, the Geological Survey said one like it might recur every several hundred years or so.

The center of Sunday's quake was located more than 100 miles north of the 1989 quake, so for many residents in the Napa area, Sunday's quake felt worse, since Napa was so far away from the epicenter of the 1989 quake.

So far, no deaths have been reported from Sunday's quake in northern California, though at least 70 people are reported injured.

Mike Desimoni of Napa was awakened by Sunday morning's quake. "Oh man, it was bad. Worse than the '89 quake," he said, referring to the Loma Prieta quake. "It rolled for about 30 seconds."



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Napa earthquake shakes up memories of 1989

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