On the Back of the Beast - Kindle eBook by S F Chapman


I have lived my entire life in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a wonderful seven thousand or so square miles of both natural beauty and man-made creations wrapped around a huge bluish-gray estuary that spills into the Pacific at the Golden Gate.

The Bay Area is America's 5th largest metropolitan area and the Hayward Fault slices from north to south right through the center of it.

Unlike the more famous and jittery San Andreas Fault to the west that destroyed San Francisco in 1906, the lesser-known Hayward Fault has remained ominously dormant for over 140 years. Earthquake faults do not sleep forever.

When the rather moderate Loma Prieta Earthquake struck south of the
San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, I became fascinated with the sense of
communal denial that blinds the residents of Northern California to
the omnipresent danger. A huge seismic disaster is inevitable.

Nearly everyone who has survived a major earthquake can tell a tale
with razor sharpness of their particular situation when the ground
moved. Many people admit to doing exactly the wrong things at that
moment: working high up on a ladder, gazing out of a skyscraper
window, rummaging around in the basement of a brick building, landing
a crowded jumbo jet.

I strove to capture these sorts of survivor's stories when I wrote On
The Back Of The Beast.