Historical Nuggets 4: Oakland
We are approaching the 140th anniversary of the Great Hayward Earthquake. It hit on October 21, 1868 and was reported as either a magnitude 6.8 or 7.0 — one of the most destructive in the history of California. This was also known as “the Great San Francisco Earthquake” until the more famous 7.9 disaster befell San Francisco on April 18, 1906.
The main effects of the Hayward earthquake were felt from Berkeley to Fremont and in San Francisco, but it was experienced as far north as Santa Rosa and south to Gilroy and Santa Cruz. Greatest damage occurred in Hayward, then a population of roughly 500, where virtually every structure was demolished. Oakland, a town of about 12,000, was less seriously impacted. In total, thirty people died from this temblor.
Geological studies have shown that the length of time between the previous five major earthquakes on the Hayward fault has averaged 140 years. Although the exact date of the next big one is unknown, clearly, the clock is ticking.
The 1868 Hayward Earthquake Alliance will be hosting a number of events in October to commemorate the occasion. Visit their site for more information on the anniversary and links to how to prepare for the next Big One.