Northridge, CA: Remembering the deadly and destructive Northridge Earthquake 25 years ago today.
At 4:31 a.m. PT on Monday, January 17th, 1994, an earthquake violently shook the Northridge, California area on the federal holiday on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Initially, the earthquake was reported as a strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake, but years later, the magnitude was upgraded to a magnitude 6 7 earthquake.
The earthquake shook people out of their sleep starting at the epicenter just a mile south southwest of Northridge, California then shaking across San Fernando Valley, California, Los Angeles, California, San Bernardino County, and Orange County, California, and as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada Richfield, Utah, and Ensenada, Mexico.
This video from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 shows the moments after the earthquake hit.
** The following is the time and date of what occurred after the earthquake: **
(Times Listed All Pacific Standard Time)
– Monday, January 17th, 1994:
4:31 a.m.: A major earthquake strikes in Los Angeles.
4:37 a.m.: Fires, flooding, buildings down — widespread damage reported across Southern California.
4:39 a.m.: 5, 14, 10 freeways are severely damaged by the earthquake, the California Highway Patrol reports.
4:40 a.m.: Massive power outages are reported across LA.
4:52 a.m.: Phone service is reported down in some areas.
4:56 a.m.: A train that may have been hauling hazardous materials derails near the Chatsworth/Northridge area.
5:20 a.m.: Between 30 and 40 explosions are reported on Cal State Northridge campus.
5:38 a.m.: Federal Emergency Management Agency announces it will respond to the earthquake.
5:40 a.m.: Caltech reports that the magnitude-6.6 earthquake was centered in the northern San Fernando Valley area.
5:45 a.m.: Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan declares a state of emergency.
6:05 a.m.: All LAX flights are canceled; Metrolink service is shut down.
6:50 a.m.: Hundreds of gas main and water main breaks reported.
7 a.m.: Multiple people found dead at a collapsed apartment building in the 9500 block of Reseda Blvd. in Northridge.
7:10 a.m.: All LAUSD schools are closed.
7:36 a.m.: Death caused by 14 Freeway collapse is identified as a law enforcement officer, fire spokesman says.
9:05 a.m.: Gov. Wilson declares state of emergency, asks President Bill Clinton for federal aid.
9:10 a.m.: National Guard activates its emergency operations centers.
9:18 a.m.: President Bill Clinton vows to help victims deal with the earthquake and its aftermath.
10:50 a.m.: Gov. Pete Wilson tours Northridge earthquake area by helicopter.
12:02 p.m.: Power restored to nearly half of 1.4 million LADWP customers.
12:17 p.m.: Gov. Wilson dispatches 500 National Guard troops. More than 1,500 National Guard troops are expected within 24 hours.
1 p.m.: Tens of thousands of LA residents “may be homeless,” Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi says.
1:10 p.m.: “Sporadic” looting leads to more than 25 arrests citywide, LAPD says.
2:08 p.m.: President Bill Clinton declares LA County a national disaster area, releasing federal relief for victims of the Northridge quake.
2:20 p.m.: Death toll rises to 29 and hundreds are injured as the search for survivors continues.
5:20 p.m.: At least 14 people confirmed dead at Northridge Meadows Apartments.
5:50 p.m.: City-wide curfew in LA is in effect until dawn.
– Tuesday, January 18th, 1994:
7:01 a.m.: Northridge Earthquake death toll rises to 33.
7:21 a.m.: LAUSD schools remain closed for second day and nearly all schools in surrounding districts are closed.
5:01 p.m.: Citywide curfew to be extended another day, LAPD Chief Willie Williams says.
7:15 p.m.: More than 800 people injured in Ventura County. Property damage estimated at more than $400 million.
7:42 p.m.: Nearly 8,000 homes are still without water in Simi Valley.
– Wednesday, January 19th, 1994:
6:01 a.m.: More than 500 hospitalized, 2,300 treated and released Tuesday, hospital officials say.
7:33 a.m.: LAUSD schools remain closed for third day in a row. At least 170 facilities are seriously damaged.
10:32 a.m.: President Bill Clinton arrives in Southern California.
2:36 p.m.: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials say three of four LA aqueducts were severed, but local water supply will last at least 7 to 10 days.
– Thursday, January 20th, 1994:
7:32 a.m.: About 36,000 LADWP customers are still without water this morning for the fourth day in a row.
10:32 a.m.: Electricity restored to all parts of LA except for 7,500 customers in the San Fernando Valley, utility officials say.
11:01a.m.: Officials cancel dusk-to-dawn curfew.
2:06 p.m.: State will underwrite loans of up to $200,000 for small-business owners devastated by Northridge Earthquake, Gov. Wilson says.
– Friday, January 21st, 1994:
7:15 a.m.: LAUSD schools remain closed for the fifth day in a row.
12:01: Death toll rises to 55 people, officials say.
– Saturday, January 22nd, 1994:
8:00 a.m.: LAUSD plans to reopen most schools. About 300 classrooms remain unsafe.
8:32 a.m.: Some 10,000 households in northwest San Fernando Valley remain without running water.
9:01 a.m.: Crews restore service to 40,000 homes and identify at least that many more that are still without gas, the Southern California Gas Company says.
10:05 a.m.: 236 military tents with a capacity for up to 7,340 people are expected to be in place at 7 Valley locations by nightfall.
1:00 p.m. Federal government releases $283 million in earthquake aid, according to White House Press Secretary Dee Myers.
According to the United States Geological Survey, between 57 to 60 people were killed, between 7,000 to 8,700 people were injured, over 20,000 people were homeless, over 40,000 buildings were damaged, and a estimated cost between $13 billion and $20 billion.
Most of the damage from the earthquake occurred in the north and west ends of the San Fernando Valley, California as well as the cities of Santa Monica, California, Simi Valley, Sylmar, California, and Santa Clarita, California.
Since the earthquake, many things have changed since, 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.
Recently, a new earthquake earlier warning system application called “ShakeAlertLA” has been released in the Los Angeles, California area.
As like a tornado siren alerts those in the path of an approaching tornado, this particular system alerts those in the path of an approaching earthquake a certain amount of time to protect themselves, their family, and their friends from falling debris and broken glass that would happen during an earthquake as well as to move to a safe location if driving on a road, highway, or interstate.
Overall, the most important thing everybody, in California and around the globe, is preparedness and to have a plan of action.
On Thursday, January 17th, 2019, as we remember the Northridge Earthquakes of 1994, please take a moment to check if you, your family, your friends and your community is ready for an earthquake.
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.
Our thoughts, condolences, and prayers go out always to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and many thanks to the many first responders and Good Samaritan that came together to help save lives and help those in need after the earthquake.
May we never let a disaster, man-made and nature cause, break our spirit or our community.
** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **