Damaged building in Doherty, presumably remnants of the 1988 earthquake.

The San Andreas Earthquake was an event that occurred shortly before the events of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is based on the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.


Like much of the state of California which it is based on, San Andreas suffered occasional earthquakes. The earthquake is mentioned several times in the news on radio stations. It is the cause of the closures of the inter-county bridges at the start of the game, which prevents the player from leaving Los Santos at the start of the game.

According to the host of K-DST, the earthquake occured "last month" from the beginning of the game.

In 1988, the earthquake devastated the Doherty area in San Fierro. Several blocks were leveled and buildings were destroyed. A large section of an overhead roadway is collapsed just east of San Fierro. Also, the large empty construction lot behind the Xoomer Gas Station in Doherty once contained a large building which was semi-destroyed by the earthquake. Much of the building, including its facade and some of its floors, are still standing. During the events of GTA San Andreas, this building is in the process of getting demolished. Most of the area had been reconstructed but some damaged structures still remain.[1]


  1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - City Guides (PC manual) p.34