Local News

Dec 22, 2009 11:22 PM by Stacy Daniel

Central coast residents recall the 2003 San Simeon earthquake

Six years ago today, the devastating San Simeon earthquake rattled the central coast. The 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit on December 22nd, 2003. Two women died when the building they were working in collapsed in Paso Robles. 47 people were hurt.

At exactly 11:15 the city of Paso Robles was shaken to it's core by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. When the ground stopped moving and the dust settled two people were dead. 20-year-old Jennifer Myrick and 55-year-old Marilyn Frost-Zafuto were killed when the Acorn building collapsed.

Marilyn Curry was at work in the building directly across from the Acorn building on that fateful day. Curry says, " We just started shaking like crazy and then I heard people yelling outside and then I saw the roof just slide right off the building." Outside, the streets were littered with dust and debris. Cars had been crushed by falling pieces of the surrounding structures. One person said bricks popped off the Acorn building like flying projectiles. Barry Kinman says, "Streets were closed. You had no access. You didn't know where people where. There was a lot of Helter Skelter."
Six years later, the city has risen from the ashes and is once again a vibrant center of activity. Now, signs of the San Simeon quake are difficult to spot. But, they are here, a constant reminder of what was lost that day six years ago.
Several buildings damaged in the major quake have re-opened in the past year. Mission San Miguel is one of them. The mission held its first mass since the earthquake, at the end of September. Affects of that earthquake even made their way down to Guadalupe, where the city's water tower suffered major damage. That tower was just replaced earlier this month.


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