All Californians are aware that one day "the Big One" – a massive earthquake – will hit the San Francisco Bay area. According to experts, there is a 90 percent probability that it will happen within the next three decades. In 1989, many Californians thought the dreaded moment had arrived when a 6.9-magnitude quake rocked the bay, killing 67 people and injuring thousands. That quake cost billions of dollars in damages, one of the most costly US natural disasters.
Our California-based correspondents met with some of those who lived through the 1989 earthquake, the epicentre of which was located just a few kilometres away from what is known today as Silicon Valley. Have lessons been learned from the last major disaster? And how are Californians preparing?