1994 Northridge Earthquake

The Northridge Earthquake was a turning point in the history of Los Angeles.  It occurred seven years after the Whittier Narrows Earthquake, but with damage that was much more widespread.  This earthquake, coming two years after the Rodney King riots led to the out migration of many native Californians. 

330px-FEMA_-_1807_-_Photograph_by_Robert_A._Eplett_taken_on_01-17-1994_in_CaliforniaAlthough the freeways were quickly repaired, the extensive damage in this earthquake and the Loma Prieta (San Francisco) earthquake called into question the Cal Trans engineering standards.  That, along with the collapse of apartment buildings and parking garages called into question not only the standards but questions about the safety of steel rebar reinforced concrete construction itself.  There is a video showing all the coverage of the earthquake as it unfolded;  a compilation of the total television coverage.  I will link to it rather than embed it; the video  is almost 3 1/2 hours long.

Shake_Map_Northridge_1994 (1)

Other long term effects were the decline of shopping malls and the disappearance of the locally well known department stores of the Los Angeles area. Robinsons-May and Bullocks come to mind as middle class department stores that disappeared.  May suffered losses in both the Whittier Narrows Earthquake and the Northridge Quake.  Of course, consumer shopping habits were changing as well but the Northridge quake seem to mark the end of an era.  Also, the population demographics began changing as Anglos and Blacks left the Los Angeles area and were being replaced by Latinos and Asians.

You can find numerous videos made from live coverage of the Northridge Earthquake by linking through the video here to You Tube.  The one shown above came from a San Francisco viewer.

Images from FEMA and USGS via Wikipedia

Thanks for the video to Jujumediazone

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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