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On October 17, 1989, the central coast of California was jolted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake’s epicenter was near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The magnitude 6.9 quake was the most powerful the state had experienced since 1980. 
 
The Loma Prieta earthquake was triggered by the mighty San Andreas Fault, where the North American tectonic plate strikes northward while the massive Pacific plate slips southward. During the quake, the epicenter slipped up to 2.3 meters.
 
The Loma Prieta earthquake caused 63 deaths, 3,757 injuries, and about $6 billion in damage. Many casualties occurred as parts of several transportation routes, including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a busy freeway, collapsed. 
athlete
Noun

person who participates or competes in sporting events.

Noun

body of water partially surrounded by land, usually with a wide mouth to a larger body of water.

bridge
Noun

structure connecting areas otherwise difficult to travel.

Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

collapse
Verb

to fall apart completely.

damage
Noun

harm that reduces usefulness or value.

deck
Noun

top surface or "floor" of a ship or other open structure, such as a highway or bridge.

delay
Verb

to put off until a later time.

earthquake
Noun

the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.

epicenter
Noun

point on the Earth's surface directly above the true center of an earthquake.

evacuate
Verb

to leave or remove from a dangerous place.

fault
Noun

a crack in the Earth's crust where there has been movement.

freeway
Noun

large public road for which there is no fee, or toll, required.

frighten
Verb

to scare.

highway
Noun

large public road.

journalist
Noun

person who reports and distributes news.

massive
Adjective

very large or heavy.

route
Noun

path or way.

span
Verb

to extend over or across something.

stadium
Noun

large structure, often used for sports or other entertainment events, with a central event area surrounded by raised seats for viewers.

sway
Verb

to move in a back-and-forth, swinging motion.

tectonic plate
Noun

massive slab of solid rock made up of Earth's lithosphere (crust and upper mantle). Also called lithospheric plate.

transportation
Noun

movement of people or goods from one place to another.

trigger
Verb

to cause or begin a chain of events.

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