Northridge, CA: Remembering the deadly and destructive Northridge Earthquake that occurred 28 years ago today.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Sources: Multiple History Sources, United States Geological Survey, ShakeOut, Earthquake Warning California, Caltech Seismo Lab, American Red Cross, Ready.Gov and KNBC 4 (Information):

Pictures: Commons Wikimedia, United States Geological Survey, ShakeOut, Earthquake Warning California, Caltech Seismo Lab, American Red Cross, Ready.Gov and KNBC 4 (Courtesy):

Northridge, California: At 4:31 a.m. PT on Monday, January 17th, 1994, a deadly and destructive earthquake violently shook across the San Fernando Valley, California area on the federal holiday of Dr. 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; and was felt as far as Needles, California; 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 estimated times and dates 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.

ZachNews and the community sends our thoughts, condolences, and prayers always to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the Northridge Earthquake of 1994, and many thanks to the many emergency responders and Good Samaritan that came together to help save lives and help those in need after the earthquake.

Pictures: ShakeOut and Caltech Seismo Lab (Courtesy):

As we remember on Monday, January 17th, 2022 the Northridge Earthquakes of 1994 that occurred 28 years ago, please take a moment to check if you, your family, your friends and your community is ready for an earthquake.

According to their ShakeOut website, it’s important to do a “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill; you may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down–or drops something on you.

Practicing by yourself, or with your family, friends, neighbors and community helps you be ready to respond.

If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then “Drop, Cover and Hold On”: “DROP” to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!), Take “COVER” by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and “HOLD ON” to it until the shaking stops.

Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.

If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects.

It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking.

Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly.

An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.

According to their ShakeOut website, during an earthquake, do not do the following:

– Do not get in a doorway! An early earthquake photo is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!

– Do not run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.

– Do not get in the “triangle of life.” In recent years, an e-mail has been circulating which describes an alternative to the long-established “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” advice.

According to the Earthquake Country Alliance, the so-called “triangle of life” and some of the other actions recommended in the e-mail are potentially life threatening, and the credibility of the source of these recommendations has been broadly questioned. The “triangle of life” advice (always get next to a table rather than underneath it) is based on several wrong assumptions:

– Buildings always collapse in earthquakes (wrong- especially in developed nations, and flat “pancake” collapse is rare anywhere);

– When buildings collapse they always crush all furniture inside (wrong- people DO survive under furniture or other shelters);

– People can always anticipate how their building might collapse and anticipate the location of survivable void spaces (wrong- the direction of shaking and unique structural aspects of the building make this nearly impossible) ; and

– During strong shaking people can move to a desired location (wrong- strong shaking can make moving very difficult and dangerous).

According to the Earthquake Country Alliance, some other recommendations in the “triangle of life” e-mail are also based on wrong assumptions and very hazardous. For example, the recommendation to get out of your car during an earthquake and lie down next to it assumes that there is always an elevated freeway above you that will fall and crush your car. Of course there are very few elevated freeways, and lying next to your car is very dangerous because the car can move and crush you, and other drivers may not see you on the ground!

More Information on Drop, Cover, and Hold On at:

You should also take the opportunity to check on you emergency preparedness kit to make sure all is supplies are updated. If you don’t have an emergency preparedness kit, take that day to put an emergency preparedness kit together.

** What to have in your emergency preparedness kit?: **

Picture: ShakeOut (Courtesy):

According to the American Red Cross, at a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

– Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

– Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

– Flashlight

– Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

– Extra batteries (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)

– Deluxe family first aid kit

– Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

– Multi-purpose tool

– Sanitation and personal hygiene items

– Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

– Cell phone with chargers (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)

– Family and emergency contact information

– Extra cash

– Emergency blanket

– Map(s) of the area

According to the American Red Cross, Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

– Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

– Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

– Games and activities for children

– Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

– Two-way radios

– Extra set of car keys and house keys

– Manual can opener

According to the American Red Cross, additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

– Whistle

– N95 or surgical masks

– Matches

– Rain gear

– Towels

– Work gloves

– Tools/supplies for securing your home

– Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

– Plastic sheeting

– Duct tape

– Scissors

– Household liquid bleach

– Entertainment items

– Blankets or sleeping bags

** How to protecting my home or building?: **

According to the American Red Cross, here’s how to protecting my home or building:

– Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Have a professional install flexible fittings to avoid gas or water leaks.

– Do not hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, near beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.

– Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.

– Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.

– Place large and heavy objects and breakable items (bottled foods, glass or china) on lower shelves.

– Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to joists.

– Anchor top-heavy, tall and freestanding furniture such as bookcases, china cabinets to wall studs to keep these from toppling over.

– Ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports and garage doors.

– Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.

– Have a professional make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation, as well as strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports and garage doors.

Remember to have a plan practice the plan, prepare an emergency preparedness kit and remain calm; knowing and preparing for an earthquake helps you as well as your family, friends and community better handle the emergency situation, it may also save your life or other people lives. Work together, have a plan so your neighborhood and Community is prepared for any emergency situation.

** Download ShakeAlert – Earthquake Early Warning: **

Picture: USGS ShakeAlert (Courtesy):

ShakeAlert is an earthquake early warning (EEW) system that detects significant earthquakes so quickly that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives.

Video: Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (I.R.I.S.) Earthquake Science via YouTube (Courtesy):

ShakeAlert is not earthquake prediction, rather a ShakeAlert Message indicates that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners are now implementing Phase 3 of operations of the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States.

Many partnerships to utilize ShakeAlert in authentic environments such as utilities, hospitals, transportation systems, and educational environments are active today and more are being developed. In 2021 and beyond, the USGS and its partners will continue to expand these applications in coordination with state agencies in Washington, Oregon, and California.

*** More information on ShakeAlert – Earthquake Early Warning can be found at the following websites: ***

So if you live in an area known for earthquakes or want to be prepare and ready in case you find yourself in an earthquake, take this moment to get prepared and ready during the Great Shake Out Earthquake Drill 2021.

*** More information on earthquake preparedness can be found at the following websites: ***

  • ShakeOut (Website):

  • Earthquake Warning California (Website):

  • United States Geological Survey:

  • American Red Cross:

– Ready.Gov:

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.

According to the Ready.Gov website, the Community Emergency Response Team program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Community Emergency Response Team offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

*** More information regarding the Community Emergency Response Team program can be found at the following website: ***

According to the American Red Cross, people who volunteered with the Red Cross have helped in more than 60.000 disasters every year and supported more then 25,000 Red Cross Blood Services; with more then 15,000 nurses and nursing students volunteered and 25% of volunteers are aged 24 years old and younger.

The American Red Cross have volunteer opportunities to match a wide range of interests and time commitment.

*** More information regarding the American Red Cross volunteering can be found at the following website: ***

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

May we never let a disaster, man-made and nature cause, break our spirit or our community.


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