Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shakin' Up The Memories - Happy Northridge Earthquake Day

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.


Rick O! said...

My memory: Bracing myself in the door jam of my bedroom, with my sister running down the hallway to me crying. The following week our field trip to CSUN was canceled due to the damage.

chicanaskies said...

Wow, has it really been 14 years? Guess that means another big one is due soon.

My memories are fuzzy...I just remember standing in the doorways with my mom.

Funny though, that I never actually forget...whenever I am awaken by loud noises or by someone shaking me or banging on the door, my first instinct is, "It's an earthquake!" California is forever etched into my being.

Will Campbell... said...

Wow, thanks for the reminder. For the first time I missed acknowledging that horrific day. Here's my account of it.

Miles said...

First time I missed acknowledging that day, too. We were living in Hollywood at the time, just between Sunset and Hollywood, by Crescent Heights. Having been through many earthquakes (native, natch), I woke up at 4:31 and had to be dragged to the doorframe. I simply could not believe what was happening. While in the doorframe, we could see transformers blowing out all over the city and hear car alarms shrieking in unity. As soon as it ended, I knew it was the worst earthquake I had ever been in and that it was gonna be a long ass day.

14 years? We are due for another one any day now...

unhipla said...

i was living in the miracle mile area then. i dove under my chunky metal office desk and watched the walls of my apartment sway. i got on the phone and called a few people before the lines went dead. i had just moved to l.a. then and was initiated that night.

Foodeater said...

I was living on the fucking epicenter right across the street from CSUN... we nearly died and our apartment building was destroyed. Ah, memories! They are still as sharp as the splinters of glass I was picking out of my feet for days afterward (during the brief rests between aftershocks).

It was so beyond scary, we thought at first that a nuclear bomb had gone off. Seriously.

How crazy that 14 years have already gone by.

Anonymous said...

I had the chicken pox. And I momentarily forgot how much I itched.

buy viagra said...

Yeah I remember... that was horrible, some people die, but we can do ... well at least no more people report more people die and no more anomalies.
Thanks for sharing.