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Archive photos of Loma Prieta ruins outside San Francisco

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An earthquake: The thing neighboring communities least want to share

In just a few more hours we’ll be coming up on the 27th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that killed dozens and reshaped San Francisco’s neighborhoods, cityscape, and sense of itself.

Anybody who’s lived here for even a few years probably already knows the dramatic San Francisco stories: The interrupted World Series broadcasting the disaster live to the world, the devastation in the Marina, one freeway collapsed in Oakland and another evacuated (and later demolished) in San Francisco for fear of a similar crunch, and the path to the Bay Bridge sliced right in two.

But there was more to the event than just one or two cities. The quake’s epicenter sat nearest to the small town of Watsonville and shook the state as far north as Eureka and as far south as San Diego. It even crossed state lines as far as Lovelock, Nevada.

Courtesy of the the US Geological Survey’s photo archive (it’s like a family photo album for the state, except instead of children we have disasters, and the pictures make you feel more queasy than sentimental), here are some portraits of the fateful day from all over the Bay Area.