Do you remember what you were doing at 4:31 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 1994?
Today is the 14th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, our largest quake in the past half-century.
The quake registered a 6.7 on the Richter Scale and caused considerable damage not only in the San Fernando Valley, but in parts of Hollywood, the Westside and even at the Coliseum. Seventy-two people died, over 11,000 were injured and the damages totalled $12.5 billion - the costliest natural disaster in the U.S. before the levees broke in the Crescent City two and a half years ago.
The 5/14 interchange was partially destroyed and the missing chunks of the structure caused LAPD officer Clarence Wayne Dean, riding his motorcycle, to plunge to his death. The interchange was eventually named in honor of the policeman. A section of the 10 freeway near La Cienega was also badly damaged and shut down, though finally repaired and reopened just six weeks later.
One good thing to come out of the quake -- Metrolink, which barely had been operating for a year an a half - hadn't planned any service to the Antelope Valley until 2010 or so, but due to the damaged 5/14 interchange, makeshift stations were built and the former Santa Clarita Line was extended all the way to Lancaster - in just four days.
A younger Militant was among the many rudely awoken in the wee hours of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by the violent shaking, and the crashing sound of a display case made him realize this was serious business. Especially since he decided to crash that night in the living room and the said display case landed mere feet from where he slept. Yikes.
Any Northridge Earthquake memories? Post them as comments and share them with your fellow Militant readers.