Northridge, CA: Remembering 23 years ago the Northridge Earthquake of Monday, January 17th, 1994.


Northridge, CA: Remembering 23 years ago the Northridge Earthquake of Monday, January 17th, 1994.

On Tuesday, January 17th, 2017, we remember 23 years ago the Northridge Earthquake that rocked Northridge, California at around 4:30am PT on Monday, January 17th, 1994.

Zachary A. Lopez of ZachNews will never forget that early morning living at the Peyton Avenue Apartments in Burbank, California when the largest earthquake he had ever felt in his life woke him up.

“I was 8 years old and as a child, I use to have a lots of nightmares, nightmares that were scary and had to do with my up bringing. But that night I remember being woken out of a nightmare sleep into a real life nightmare earthquake. I can’t forget the loud rattling and shattering of glass around my home, the cracking of walls in my front room, the loud alarms going off from parked vehicles under me in the underground parking structure, and me holding on for dear life under the kitchen table as the earthquake shook wildly all around me, After the earthquake, darkness was all around me and the aftershocks began. I was so scared and worried what would happen next if I leave the safety of the kitchen table. That earthquake was the largest earthquake that I had ever felt in my life and I will never forget how so many people’s lives were changed after that earthquake,” said Zachary A. Lopez of ZachNews.

** Video “The Quake of 94” from Rewindium on YouTube: **

Soon after the large earthquake rocked the across Los Angeles County, California, radio and television began broadcasting live on the large earthquake that hit their community, including KNBC 4 News Reporter Joe Rico from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 in Burbank, California who began his reporting on the large earthquake with, “We’re here in the Channel 4 Newsroom. As you folks – there’s no surprise – early this morning, we’ve been hit by a major earthquake,” said KNBC 4 News Reporter Joe Rico.

“I remembered everybody in my apartment building glued to the news wanting to know more about this earthquake, how bad was the shaking, and and if there were anybody hurt. I remember watching the news reports from KNBC 4 as they showed the damage and fires that was burning. I prayed that everybody was alright and to please stop the shaking.” said Zachary A. Lopez of ZachNews.

Initially, the large earthquake was reported as a strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake, but years later, the magnitude was upgraded to a magnitude 6 7 earthquake.

The large earthquake rocked people out of their sleep across the San Fernando Valley, California; Los Angeles, California; San Bernardino County; Riverside, California; and Orange County, California, and as far away as Needles, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Richfield, Utah; and Ensenada, Mexico.

“I remembered everybody in my apartment building glued to the radio and battery televisions wanting to know more about this earthquake and how bad was the shaking,” said Zachary A. Lopez of ZachNews.

The large earthquake killed 57 people, injured around 8,700 people, over 20,000 people were homeless, over 40,000 buildings were damaged causing around $20 billion dollars in damages.

** Here are a few of the deaths, injuries, and damages that occurred during the large earthquake included the following: **


  • The Northridge Meadows Apartment complex building in Northridge, California where 16 people were killed as a result of the building’s collapse.


  • The Northridge Fashion Center in Northridge, California where parking structure collapsed and trapped a person inside a vehicle.


  • Just down the street from the parking structure collapse, a firght train with tanker cars carrying hazardous materials derailed in Northridge, California. No reports of leaks from the hazardous materials tanker cars and no reports of injuries to the public.


  • Fire and water flowed out of the roadway on Balboa Boulevard near Halsey Street in Granada Hills, California.


  • At least 40 homes were destroyed by fire at the Tahitian Mobile Home Park in Sylmar, California.


  • Sections of overpasses along Interstate 10, State Route 14, Interstate 5, and State Route 118 collapsed during the earthquake shutting down those important routes to and from work and home.


  • Newhall Pass Interchange of Interstate 5 and State Route 14 collapsed taking the life of Los Angeles Police Department Motorcycle Officer Clarence Wayne Dean.


  • A home near Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, California was destroyed in a mudslide that was triggered by the large earthquake.
  • Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California were a large scoreboard collapsed on top of several hundred seats which were all vacant at the time of the earthquake.

The large earthquake changed the lives of so many people over the days, weeks, months, and years after the large earthquake and would ever be known as the Northridge Earthquake, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, or The Quake of 94.

Many of things have changed after the earthquake occurred; from improvements to infrastructures, overpasses, and bridges, and changes in the building codes and enforcement, to technology helping to improve quick response by first responders during a disaster as well as new technology to alert people in the path of an earthquake to head for safety.


As we remember the Northridge Earthquake 23 years ago today, first responders and community officials want to remain everybody that the most important thing everybody, in California and around the globe, is preparedness and to have a plan of action.

Remember to have an emergency disaster kid and first aid kit ready to go in case of a disaster happens stocked up with items such as drinkable water, canned foods, flashlights, batteries, blankets, medications, Band Aids, anti-bacteria appointments, toilet paper, battery operated or crank up radio, important papers you might need including your social security card and birth certificate, warm clothing items, terrible walking shoes, and many more survivable items needed to survive at least 7 to 10 days after the earthquake as some experts and first responders recommended people to do.

When earthquake occurs, remember to get underneath a sturdy table and hold on tight well you cover your head.

If you’re at home or building during an earthquake, when it is safe to move after the earthquake, make sure to check your gas, water, and electric lines and if damaged, shut off the service. If you have a gas leak, do not use matches.

Call 911 for emergencies only and if you are making a call on a communication device such as landline phones or cellular phone, try to make a call to a friend or family member outside the disaster area and make calls only if they are important as phone service will be very busy or limited if communication lines are damaged and down after an earthquake.

If you are driving on the road, highway, or interstate, pull over to the side of the road away from a overhead power lines, bridges, and overpasses in case those power lines fall or those bridges and overpasses buckle and collapse.

Never run outside during an earthquake or use candles and elevators after an earthquake.

A good idea to do is to have you your family and friends enter a class on how to prepare for an earthquake or join a training class on surviving a disaster.

If you would like to help your community during a disaster, volunteer with your local Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), American Red Cross, or other disaster relief organizations.

Please remember to remain calm and come together as a community to help each other get through a disaster.



May we never forget the many people who lost their lives during the Northridge Earthquake on Monday, January 17th, 1994.

May we never stop thanking the many first responders and Good Samaritan that came together to help save lives and help those in need after the Northridge Earthquake on Monday, January 17th, 1994.

May we never let a disasters, either man-made and nature cause, break or divide our love, caring, and helpful spirit for we are community.

** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4. **


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