Facebook Twitter



A recovering Bay area shows America its mettle tonight with the earthquake-delayed third game of baseball's World Series, but the victims and the destruction will not be forgotten.

"We can enjoy World Series baseball and still remember those who lost their lives or their property and those who are helping so much in the recovery effort," Mayor Art Agnos said.By Thursday, nearly 21,400 people had registered for disaster aid with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Damages are estimated at $7.1 billion with nearly 14,000 people still out of their homes, according to state officials.

People can talk about the quake at a forum tonight held by the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, which coincidentally began a meeting in San Francisco this week. The 500 experts called off their disaster drill but offered to help victims of the real thing.

"We believe in the value of talking, talking and sharing," said Yael Danieli, president of the society. Talking, "you don't have to feel lonely and scared. You can re-establish a sense of community."

Relief also came in the form of a $3.45 billion aid package President Bush signed Thursday, most of it destined for northern California. But people also sought lighter restoratives.

San Francisco, which treats Halloween as its own special holiday, begins the celebration this weekend.

"It was rather somber for a while," said J.S. Gilbert, general manager of the 10th annual Exotic Erotic Halloween Ball, where 10,000 people are expected Saturday night. Some of the proceeds will go to quake relief.

"But the weekend is important in the sense that people are looking for a release, an opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves,' he said Thursday. "There was a lot of camaraderie, a lot of good things that came out of the quake."

It was 10 days ago that millions of Americans, settling down in front of televisions to watch baseball's World Series, instead saw the 7.1-magnitude earthquake jerk Candlestick Park and the Bay area.

Tonight, baseball returns after the longest break in World Series history, to Candlestick, and many say it will give San Francisco a chance to lure jittery tourists back.

Commissioner Fay Vincent said baseball will donate $1.4 million to the relief effort, including $100,000 from each Series team.

However slowly, the area is recovering, as are some of the victims.

Dockworker Buck Helm, rescued after four days in the rubble of I-880, remained in serious condition in Oakland's Highland General Hospital. But his kidney function has returned to normal.

But police said six people remained unaccounted for, and the death toll held at 63, including 39 from the collapse of double-decked I-880. The search for more bodies was delayed because the road was too shaky.


(additional information)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An earthquake more deadly than last week's jolt is 50 percent likely near San Francisco, and a catastrophic "big one" is at least 60 percent probable in Southern California by the year 2018, scientists say.

Overall odds for such quakes, which could kill thousands of people, were listed in a 1988 U.S. Geological Survey study. They remain unchanged by the Oct. 17 upheaval that claimed at least 63 lives in the San Francisco Bay area, said USGS geophysicist Jim Dieterich, the report's lead author.

The report predicted a 30 percent chance by 2018 for a magnitude 6.5 quake on the segment of the San Andreas that caused last week's quake.