Loma Prieta Earthquake Study, 1990 (ICPSR 34426)

Version Date: May 14, 2013 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Linda B. Bourque, University of California-Los Angeles


Version V1

The Loma Prieta Earthquake Study examined the five-county San Francisco Bay area affected by the earthquake on October 17, 1989. Residents were asked about their experiences during, and responses to, the Loma Prieta Earthquake, measuring 6.9 on the Richter magitude scale. Telephone interviews were conducted with approximately 700 adult residents of Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties. Information was collected on topics such as evacuation, personal property damage, disaster/emergency planning and preparedness, and emotional distress as a result of the earthquake experience. Demographic variables include gender, age, income, ethnicity, religious preference, home ownership status, education level, marital status, employment status and industry, and area of the five counties where the respondent resided.

Bourque, Linda B. Loma Prieta Earthquake Study, 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-05-14. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34426.v1

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National Science Foundation (BCS 90-02754), Southern California Injury Prevention Center (R49-CCR903622)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Additional information on the Loma Prieta Earthquake Study may be found by visiting the UCLA Earthquake Survey Data Web site.

This is a telephone survey of San Francisco Bay Area residents' experiences of and responses to the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989. 656 adult residents of Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties were selected by random digit dialing (RDD) and interviewed by telephone for this study.


Persons aged 18 years and older living in the San Francisco Bay area on October 17, 1989 that experienced the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

individual, household
survey data

The data consist of 536 variables that are centered around respondents' recollection of the earthquake in Loma Prieta on October 17, 1989, including information on emergency response, respondent's location when the earthquake struck, insurance claims, reactions since the earthquake, and how respondents obtained information immediately following the earthquake.

Response rates were 70.3 percent to 80.6 percent in the San Francisco-Oakland area, between 74.4 percent to 79.7 percent in the Boulder Creek-Wantsonville-Santa Cruz area, and 68.9 percent to 74.4 percent in the rest of the five-county area.

Keane Mississippi Scale-Revised, BSI PTSD Measure, PTSD items adapted from Norris.


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Bourque, Linda B. Loma Prieta Earthquake Study, 1990. ICPSR34426-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-05-14. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34426.v1

2013-05-14 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted and no weight variables are present in the data. However, the high intensity areas (those areas where the earthquake was more intense) of San Francisco and Alameda counties adjacent to the Bay Bridge and including the Marina area, and the areas of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties (which include the town of Santa Cruz) were intentionally oversampled to obtain approximately 225 interviews in those areas. When weights were assigned, respondents in the Santa Cruz area received a weight of .16, those in San Francisco-Oakland a weight of .96, and those in the five county area a weight of 1.00.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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