San Andreas Earthquake

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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.

In 1988, an earthquake devastated the Doherty area in San Fierro. Several blocks were leveled and buildings were destroyed. Most of the area had been reconstructed but some damaged structures still remain.[1]

Events of GTA San Andreas

The earthquake is referenced several times through the course of the game, most prominently in the beginning. Apart from a threat-style warning given to Carl by C.R.A.S.H. rookie Jimmy Hernandez, the player also remains unable to access areas other than Los Santos and Red County due to the earthquake.

The first reparation made to the damage caused by the earthquake is when bridges between Red County and Flint County are opened up, though a minister is criticized for taking credit for the recovery despite contributing nothing. Oddly, there is no mention of the tiny bridge between Los Santos and Flint County. There are 3 bridges that open up in effect.

The second and biggest reparation made to the damage caused by the earthquake is when Las Venturas and the desert area open up to the rest of the state, with all major bridges including the Garver Bridge, Kincaid Bridge, Mako Span, Gant Bridge, Frederick Bridge, Fallow Bridge and Martin Bridge opening up as well to the rest of the state. Following a few more integral events in the storyline, these references stop incoming.


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