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San Andreas Earthquake

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

Like much of the state of California which it is based on, San Andreas suffers occasional earthquakes. One of these earthquakes took place a short time before the events of the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The earthquake is mentioned in the news on several radio stations. It is the cause of the closures of the inter-county bridges at the start of the game. No earthquakes ever occur during gameplay. This can be changed, however, with a mod by 'Rodent' on GTA Garage that allows players to create earthquakes in-game without having to close it first. It is activated in the same way that many cheats are. This mod can be downloaded here.

In 1988, an earthquake devastated the Doherty area in San Fierro, a reference to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 that devastated San Francisco. Several blocks were leveled and buildings were destroyed. 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

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