From the archives: Oct. 18, 1989.
The Mercury News won the Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting for its coverage of the quake.
MASSIVE QUAKE: 76 die in seconds of horror / Santa Cruz buildings in ruins
The biggest earthquake since 1906 -- 7 on the Richter scale and possibly higher -- hit the Bay Area at 5:04 p.m. Tuesday, killing at least 76 people, injuring more than 460, setting off fires in San Francisco and sending buildings, highways and bridges crashing down on people and cars across the region.
The quake, centered in the Santa Cruz Mountains, lasted from 20 to 40 seconds and frightened millions from Ukiah to San Diego. It was as strong as the quake that ravaged much of Soviet Armenia in December.