San Francisco: The Best Place on Earth! I still believe that, after living here for 24 years. There are lots of things that can go wrong when a disaster hits your City. But San Francisco had a lot going right. Quick action by authorities. Cooperation on the part of the general population. When you lose the support you depend on in basic utilities and transportation, it helps to have the support of all San Franciscans. Cases of looting were very low in San Francisco following the earthquake.
San Francisco Earthquake '89 - Part Two
By John M Scott
October 21, 1989
San Francisco, California
When I got outside after the earthquake, I was surprised to find Battery Street full of people. There was a crowd in front of the KPIX CBS5 building next door. And a block away, the same was true of KGO ABC7. I walked on, wondering what everyone was doing outside.
I was walking by what I know as MacArthur Park (actually I think it's really Jackson Square, but across from MacArthur Park Restaurant) on my way to The Embarcadero, when I noticed that the curb was separated from the sidewalk by at least 2 to 3 inches - for the entire block! I couldn't believe it. The curb itself was cracked in many places, and in some places laid at least 3 or 4 inches below or above where it should have been. This could not be good.
Then the reality of the whole thing finally sunk in. I remembered that the lights had been out - so no electricity. I knew then that I would not be picking up any airline tickets today - no electric subway. Then I started noticing other groups of people, in their suits and holding briefcases, looking at the same things I was and in complete disbelief... There were bricks and stucco lying in the street in front of a building across the street from the Embarcadero Hyatt Regency. Hundreds of people were standing near the entrance to the Embarcadreo Muni/Bart Station - but now it's closed - no electricity.
I took this as an omen and started walking down Market Street, along with crowds of other people just trying to get home. I lived straight out Market Street at 14th Street and Noe, so it would be an easy 'no hills' walk. About half an hour maybe. All the electric trolley buses were stopped where they were at 5:04PM - the same time the clock on the Ferry Building still read. There were no traffic lights, so pedestrians and vehicles were constantly challenging each other. Some good souls were actually trying to direct traffic, and it seemed like everyone was actually following their directions. But everything still seemed so calm...and so very quiet.
John M Scott, Broker / Owner, Scott Keys Properties, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), serving San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area