Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 17, 1994: Neighbors pitch in to help put out flames in the 11700 block of Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Brian Demetz of Sylmar runs past burning mobile homes in his neighborhood following the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Cars are dwarfed by flames caused by a gas main rupture following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jonathan Alcorn / For The Times

Jan. 17, 1994: A ruptured gas main burns behind a giant crater in the middle of the 11600 block of Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills. Several homes burned adjacent to where the gas line ruptured and exploded.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Patrick Downs / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Dave Dutton, owner of Dutton's Books in North Hollywood, tries to organize his heavily damaged bookstore following the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Julie Markes / For The Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Homes close to the San Fernando Reservoir burned to the ground after being set afire by natural gas leaks caused by the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lacy Atkins / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: An apartment complex in Canoga Park collapsed following the Northridge earthquake, crushing a row of parked cars.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rolando Otero / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Traffic comes to a halt on the southbound Antelope Valley Freeway (14 Freeway) after damage caused by the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lacy Atkins / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: City of Los Angeles sign in the foreground of the Interstate 5 southbound lanes where the 14 Freeway transition road collapsed. The body of Los Angeles police motorcycle officer Clarence Wayne Dean is on the left side of photo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: The 17.5-ton Jumbotron above the left-field stands at Anaheim Stadium broke loose from its mounts and crushed about 800 seats during the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rod Boren / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: The crumbled Kaiser Permanente building on Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: An unidentified man stands on the balcony of the Northridge Meadows apartment building, were 16 residents were killed in the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joel Lugavere / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: A grieving mother is distraught after being told her 14-year-old son was found dead in the Northridge Meadows apartments.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joel Lugavere / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: The Northridge Meadows Apartments, where 16 people died after much of the first floor was crushed by the top two floors during the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Edwards / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Michael Evans walks a street at West Greenbrier, a mobile home park in Santa Clarita, where his home burned down.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: J. Albert Diaz / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Friends pitch in to help a Woodland Hills resident move out of his apartment building that collapsed, crushing cars parked underneath.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Patients evacuated from the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Hospital wait for transfer to other facilities following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Axel Koester / For The Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Wayne Ibers, in orange helmet, and engineer/paramedic Dave Norman remove equipment from the hole where a man was rescued at the Northridge Fashion Center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jill Connelly / For The Times

Jan. 17, 1994: A cyclist examines the remains of a music store at the Northridge Fashion Center on Tampa Avenue following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Carol Cheetham / For The Times

Jan. 17, 1994: Residents of a damaged apartment building in the Temple-Beaudry neighborhood sit around a fire waiting for officials to decide if it is safe for them to return home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 18, 1994: View of the northbound Interstate 5 at dawn as workmen begin to repair damage done by the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 18, 1994: The damaged interior of the Masonic Temple in Santa Monica is surveyed by members following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Axel Koester / For The Times

Jan. 18, 1994: California Gov. Pete Wilson is interviewed outside an apartment building in the San Fernando Valley after touring damage from the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sunny Sung / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: President Clinton, second from right, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, left, and California Gov. Pete Wilson, listen as CalTrans engineer Andrew Ponzi explains the extent of the damage to area freeways caused by the earthquake. This photo was taken on the 118 Freeway, at the collapse near Hayvenhurst.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Patrick Downs / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: Cal State Northridge President Blenda Wilson during an interview about the earthquake damage at the university campus.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Geraldine Wilkens / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: Arturo Combybgua, on crutches, next to his building on Saticoy, where he is camped out along with most of the other tenants. He hurt his ankle and wrist during the quake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: Jose Aguilar baths in the pool of his apartment building at 21617 Saticoy St. The building was condemned.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: Trucker Ervin Nicholas waits as his trailer is removed by crane from a badly damaged section of the Golden State (I-5) Freeway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 19, 1994: Rescue workers, using a dog, try to find a missing family member in the wreckage of a house that slid down a hill in Studio City. The body of Beatrice Baitman, 69, was later found in the home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joel Lugavere / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 20, 1994: The Interstate 5 freeway near Newhall after damage from the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 20, 1994: Jessica Hernandez, 7, clutches her teddy bear in the early morning four days after the Northridge earthquake. Her family and their neighbors, fearful of aftershocks, live in the courtyard of their apartment building.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 21, 1994: Sgt. Carlton Hardesty, left, looks on as Sean Love pounds a tent stake at Lanark Park in Canoga Park. They are erecting tents in preparation of expected rain.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brian Van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 23, 1994: Sign near a freeway exit following the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sunny Sung / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 23, 1994: Flower arrangements in front of the Northridge Meadows Apartments, where 16 people died in the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Julie Markes / For The Times

Jan. 23, 1994: Monique Mares, 11, comforts her cousin Mariella Bravo, 7, inside a tent at Valley Plaza Park in North Hollywood after Bravo's mother was taken to a hospital due to ulcer complications.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Julie Markes / For The Times

Jan. 24, 1994: At 6:30 a.m., southbound commuter traffic on the 14 Freeway at Placerita Canyon, top of photo, is directed onto the southbound Sierra Highway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 26, 1994: Bibles and song books lay outside the Bel-Air Presbyterian Church to dry after the sprinkler system at the church went off during the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Axel Koester / For The Times

Jan. 27, 1994: Heavy equipment is used to remove rubble from the Simi Valley Freeway (the 118) in Granada Hills after the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Perry Riddle / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 25, 1994: Tent city at Winnetka Recreation Center using Korean War-vintage Army tents house many San Fernando Valley residents after the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 29, 1994: Spectators gather after a 5.0 aftershock to the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake caused the walkways at both ends of a Cal State Northridge parking structure to collapse.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Scott Rathburn / For The Times

Jan. 31, 1994: George Anguiano, left, 8, plays under a makeshift tent in front of his apartment in Canoga Park. Residents were still camping out at night because of earthquake fears.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Wong / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 3, 1994: Jose Luis Galdamez hugs his daughter, Lourdes, 2, at a Red Cross shelter at Los Angeles City College after the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 12, 1994: A badly damaged award certificate found in the rubble of a Northridge earthquake-damaged medical building in West Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jonathan Alcorn / For The Times

March 20, 1994: Los Angeles city firemen battle a blaze at a strip mall on the corner of Vanowen Street and Woodley Avenue as a result of a 5.3 aftershock to the Northridge earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times

March 21, 1994: Cables hold the remains of a quake-damaged house from slipping down a hill in Sherman Oaks. The home, first heavily damaged in the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake, began slipping following a March 20 aftershock.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 5, 1994: Wrecking crew working on the first day of demolition of the Northridge Meadows Apartments, which collapsed during the earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1995: Hands from the crowd reach out to touch President Clinton as he leaves Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge, where he delivered a speech on the first anniversary of the Northridge earthquake. Sierra Tower, damaged in the quake, is in the background.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Perry Riddle / Los Angeles Times

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1994 Northridge earthquake

In the overview of the Los Angeles Times book “4:31 – Images of the 1994 Los Angeles Earthquake,” J. Michael Kennedy wrote:

In the darkness of early morning, as the city still slept, an act of heart-stopping violence swept across Los Angeles. It moved into every corner of the landscape, into every home, into every life.

The earthquake, more destructive than any other in the modern history of the city, struck at 4:31 a.m. Jan. 17, 1994. Officially, it lasted only 10 seconds. But those seconds were a lifetime for the millions who felt its brutish strength crumple the earth and trample dreams.

 The earthquake had the power to destroy highways, turn parking lots into rubble, send a lifetime of mementos crashing to the floor and bring on financial ruin.

It killed and injured with caprice. The little girl swept down the hill to her death. The teen-age boy crushed under tons of debris. The police officer, with motorcycle lights flashing, falling to his death through the unseen chasm opened on a freeway overpass.
In all, 57 died in the quake, originally pegged at 6.6, but later calculated at an even more powerful magnitude. Thousands were injured and thousands more left homeless…

The Northridge earthquake, as it was quickly named, struck in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The wrenching of the earth began 10 miles underground, and its deadly shock waves embarked on a long, destructive march through Southern California.

For the first time in history, virtually all of Los Angeles was blacked out. But the effects were also felt as far away as rural Idaho, where 150,000 customers lost power as a result of the quake.

Millions were rousted from their beds as the bucking of the quake turned homes into the scariest of rides. And as one young girl would describe it, the quake left her house looking as if a wild, angry bear had been set loose inside.

From the Northridge Meadows apartments came the cries of those who were trapped in the rubble of first floor apartments crushed in the earthquake.

“Help me, please, help me,” came a pleading voice from deep beneath the debris. And then, silence. When the search of the apartments was complete, 16 bodies would be recovered….

Right after the 4:31 a.m. earthquake, Los Angeles Times journalists were in the field with non-stop coverage that lasted months. For its earthquake coverage, the Los Angeles Times won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting.

The above quoted Los Angeles Times book was published in February 1994. A later estimate of dead and injured was reported in this 1995 Los Angeles Times story: Study Raises Northridge Quake Death Toll to 72. This later story also reported more than 11,000 injured.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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