Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital patients wait in the open for evacuation to other facilities as the ruins of collapsed buildings are searched for quake victims. This photo ran the next day on the front page of the L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

Rescuers dig at the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital after buildings collapsed in an earthquake. Five hours later, a man was removed alive.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

After five hours, rescuers pulled a man still alive from the ruins of a collapsed building of the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

Workers swarm over the ruins of San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital in Sylmar, removing tiles and rubble in search of trapped victims.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

Olive View Hospital after the 1971 temblor.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

Line of Los Angeles County ambulances and other vehicles caught under collapsed roof of parking structure at Olive View Hospital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times

Two years after the earthquake, Bob Purcell checks over clocks removed from Olive View Hospital -- all frozen at the time of the quake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Cormier / Los Angeles Times

Two wings of Olive View Hospital, severely damaged in the February 1971 earthquake, were leveled on May 31, 1973, using an "implosion" technique by Controlled Demolition Inc. of Maryland and Huntington Beach. More than 600 pounds of new gelatine dynamite preparation brought the building down in 9-1/2 seconds.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Browne / Los Angeles Times

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Sylmar earthquake [updated]

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Sylmar earthquake [updated]

Feb. 9, 1971:  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits at 6:01 a.m. near Sylmar.

According to this 1996 Los Angeles Times article, 64 people were killed, two hospitals and two major freeway interchanges were destroyed and the lower dam at the Van Norman reservoir almost failed.

Forty-seven died at the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital. Two major buildings collapsed, trapping many patients.

At the Olive View Hospital, a brand-new six-story building collapsed, killing three.

Lessons learned from the 1971 earthquake led to better construction standards. In the very similar-size 1994 Northridge earthquake, Olive View Hospital (now Olive View-UCLA Medical Center) and the Van Norman reservoir sustained little damage.

LA Now blog is looking back at the 1971 Sylmar earthquake with additional photos.

[10:15 a.m.  Links to the LA Now blog added.]

4 Comments

  1. February 9, 2011, 1:14 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PhotojournSG, Mickey Tachibana. Mickey Tachibana said: Sylmar earthquake: Feb. 9, 1971:  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits at 6:01 a.m. near Sylmar. According to this 19… http://lat.ms/enmjcx […]

  2. June 2, 2011, 8:01 pm

    i was 2yrs old in olive view hospital i use to hang around a boy name frankie about the same age at the time. i know a boy around 17yrs old went back to save me and irene . I was told he ran back for us. up through the broken glass bear footed to save our lifes. don't know his name but my parents and I are surely great full. may GOD bless us all . ladymosaicus@yahoo.com if anyone was in olive view would sure like to hear from you or Facebook teresa perez downey,ca

    By: lady
  3. June 6, 2014, 2:06 am

    I was ten years old and just arrived from cuba as emigrants .we lived on zenith st and alvarado. The house sat on hill so steep you think it would down hill and land on the one bellow , it was the scariest thing to feel your wourld rise fall and shake the way it did .later that week my dad took me to a auto junkyard in the san fernando valley.there was so much De

    By: joe garcia
  4. November 1, 2015, 12:42 pm

    I had moved from Tennessee to Glendale California only months before the Sylmar quake. I was 11 yrs old, never …had I experienced anything like that before. My Mother and I thought the world had ended..we were shook up for sure…lol.

    Even though that ol quake scared us..we stayed in Cali for a couple more yrs, making some of our best memories there, along with meeting some great friends, to this day, they’re still the greatest. Love to The Leon family, Jean Perry, Jose and Julie Estrada with daughter Elaine Elyse Estrada…and many more.

    By: Terri (Whited) Croft

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