Covering Loma Prieta: Buildings Fell ‘Like They Were Toys’

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On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake shook Bay Area residents and crumbled homes and businesses.

Veteran FOX40 news reporter Lonnie Wong wasn't on the clock when the quake struck, but he was immediately thrown into the chaos of covering the deadly earthquake that killed 63 people.

"In San Francisco, there was heavy damage, and the images there were front page news, and they were on our air,” Wong said.

Burning buildings, collapsed bridges and panicked people crowded bay area streets.

“This one, you just had to kind of soak it all in before you could report on it,” Wong said.

As for the damage, this was something Wong had never seen or covered as a journalist before.

“It’s just like someone shaking buildings until they fall to the ground, like they were toys or something. And so to actually see that in person, it really makes an impact on you, even as a news reporter,” Wong said.

Katie Hackett contributed to this report.