25 years ago, a densely populated area of Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley located 20 miles northwest of the city’s downtown was struck with a 6.7 magnitude earthquake during the wee hours of January 17th, 1994, the devastation of which was discovered after the sunrise. With heavy casualties leaving more than 60 people dead and more than 9000 injured, the earthquake caused a widespread damage. The Northridge Earthquake occurred at 4:31 AM and shook an area of more than 45 kilometers in diameter around the Northridge area both horizontally and vertically. This resulted in rupturing of gas supply lines and water mains causing vast damage in the nearby vicinities. More than 450 fires were reported that day. The impact of earthquake lasted for up to 10 seconds and was felt as far away as Las Vegas.
One of the Los Angeles area highways and crossings, Santa Monica Freeway among other highways were separated and damaged forcing the commuters to take different routes.
Dozens of the victims of the earthquake were triaged by the medical unit outside Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar, California. Due to damaged water pipes, people were instructed not to drink tap water and to assist them; various water lines were set up. A lot of other services were offered to help the victims. As an aftermath of the earthquake, a lot of the buildings were declared unsafe to enter while others were demolished. The government was driven to strengthen their buildings and come up with better insurance plans especially related to natural calamities along with strengthening of their safety codes.
The other buildings and areas that were reported as affected, collapsed, heavily destroyed or covered in bricks and debris were Hollywood Boulevard in L.A., California State University, Granada Hills, Northridge Meadow apartment complex and Bullock’s Department Store in the Northridge Fashion Center among other residential and commercial earthquake disturbed units totaling to more than 80,000.