"I'll tell you what - we're having an earth - " (Al Michaels broadcasting the World Series on ABC as the earthquake struck and before the feed went out
"Well folks, that's the greatest open in the history of television, bar none!" (Al Michaels after the ABC feed was restored)
On October 17, 1989, millions of Americans tuning in to watch the Oakland Athletics face the San Francisco Giants in the World Series watched the cameras suddenly start to shake violently for several seconds. The national broadcast had just caught an earthquake registering a 6.9 on the Richter scale striking the Bay Area. By the time the earthquake and the resulting fires were over and dealt with, over 60 people were dead, making it San Francisco's deadliest earthquake since the 1906 earthquake and fire.
The damage and devastation across the Bay Area was widespread despite the precautions and changes the region had made in the wake of the 1906 calamity. After that disaster San Francisco began the process of reinforcing buildings to help structures brace for earthquakes. But even in the 1980s, they were still more concerned about potential fires resulting from an earthquake.
After the earthquake in 1906, San Francisco created an Auxiliary Water Supply System that could distribute water to any section of the city, and the city built it with stringent codes in the event of an earthquake. In fact just a few years before 1989, San Francisco created a portable water-supply system and upgraded the fire departments.