Earth­quake hits San Fran­cisco

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A pow­er­ful earth­quake has rocked San Fran­cisco killing nine peo­ple and in­jur­ing hun­dreds.

The num­ber of dead is ex­pected to rise sig­nif­i­cantly. The two-tier Bay Bridge and Nimitz free­way both par­tially col­lapsed and res­cuers are wait­ing to re­cover bod­ies from cars crushed by the quake.

The epi­cen­tre of the quake, which mea­sured 6.9 on the Richter scale, is thought to have been Loma Pri­eta, 10 miles north of Santa Cruz on the San An­dreas fault.

A mas­sive res­cue ef­fort is now un­der­way in what ex­perts be­lieve is the sec­ond big­gest earth­quake ever to hit the United States.

Of­fi­cials have re­ported “un­be­liev­able dam­age to in­fra­struc­ture” with col­lapsed bridges and free­ways, fires, shat­tered build­ings, gap­ing cracks in roads and land slides.

Tre­mors from the quake, which lasted 15 sec­onds, were re­ported 400 miles away in Los An­ge­les and 200 miles away in Reno, Ne­vada.

The quake struck at 1704 lo­cal time (18 Oc­to­ber, 0004 GMT), as peo­ple were mak­ing their way home af­ter work. Traf­fic was brought to a stand­still and many homes left with­out power.

Fans wait­ing to see the base­ball World Se­ries match at Can­dle­stick Park were also caught up in the quake. Sup­port­ers ran onto the pitch as the whole sta­dium swayed.

Hos­pi­tals have been flooded with in­jured vic­tims. Am­bu­lance worker Kim­berly Kelly said: “We’re get­ting mainly shock, cuts and short­ness of breath.”

Of­fi­cials are said to be shocked at the amount of dam­age as free­ways and build­ings are sup­posed to be earth­quake-proof.

The Gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia, Ge­orge Deuk­ma­jian, said: “I had been un­der the im­pres­sion that the high­ways had been con­structed to deal with any se­vere earth­quake and I am very sur­prised to see what has hap­pened to some of those.”

“I think we are go­ing to have some kind of in­quiry to de­ter­mine why they did not sur­vive a quake of the sever­ity of this one.

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