USGS Multimedia Gallery
Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
If no transcript and/or closed-caption is available, please notify us.
Title: Northridge, CA Earthquake Open File Report 94-179-I
Raw silent video footage of the damage from the Northridge, CA earthquake that occurred on 1/17/94. At 4:30 on the morning of January 17, 1994, some 10 million people in the Los Angeles region of southern California were awakened by the shaking of an earthquake. The earthquake, named for its epicenter in the town of Northridge, was a magnitude 6.7 (M = 6.7) shock that proved to be the most costly earthquake in United States history. The shaking heavily damaged communities throughout the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley, and their surrounding mountains north and west of Los Angeles, causing estimated losses of 20 billion dollars. Fifty-seven people died, more than 9,000 were injured, and more than 20,000 were displaced from their homes by the effects of the quake. Although moderate in size, the earthquake had immense impact on people and structures because it was centered directly beneath a heavily populated and built-up urban region. Thousands of buildings were significantly damaged, and more than 1,600 were later “red-tagged” as unsafe to enter. Another 7,300 buildings were restricted to limited entry (“yellow-tagged”), and many thousands of other structures incurred at least minor damage. The 10-20 seconds of strong shaking collapsed buildings, brought down freeway interchanges, and ruptured gas lines that exploded into fires. Fortuitously, the early morning timing of the earthquake spared many lives that otherwise might have been lost in collapsed parking buildings and on failed freeway structures. Northridge Earthquake USGS Open File Report 94-179-I
Location: Northridge, CA, USA
Date Taken: 1/18/1994
Video Producer: Don Becker , U.S. Geological Survey
Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.
Additional Video Credits:
USGS Video Archive
Suggest an update to the information/tags?
* DOI and USGS link and privacy policies apply.