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  1. #1

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Okay, so I'm a day late, but essentially, it's been 12 years since the Northridge Earthquake.

    I know the quake had a profound effect on many people's lives, especially those of us who lived near the epicenter. Please share your memories of the Northridge quake here.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  2. #2

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    being scared out of my mind rings a bell!!

    i was in the fourth grade and my house was about...eeh...20ish miles from the epicenter...my sister and i shared a room. the shaking started and i woke up with my mom running into our room. i jumped onto my sister's bed, and so did my mom. next thing we know the dog runs into the room and jumps on the bed as well. my dad then stumbles into the doorway and stays there until the shaking subsided. i remember all of the aftershocks, we put a (i think fake) poinsettia plant on top of the tv, making the note that it would shake whenever there was an aftershock of 3 or higher or something like that. my grandpa was in town from pennsylvania just after the quake and he was fascinated by all of the destruction and we had to drive around the valley looking at all of the collapsed apartment buildings.

    i have since been terrified of quakes.

  3. #3

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Strongest earthquake that I've ever felt in CA and I was all the way in Irvine, about 50 miles away. It was also the longest. I remember saying to myself "If it goes a few more seconds, I'll get out of bed and get dressed", then "If it goes a few more seconds, I'll get under a door jam", then "When the ******* is this thing going to stop!" I stood at my bedroom door and watched a chandelier swing like a pendulum.

    Luckily, there was no damage. My uncle wasn't as fortunate though. His brand new condo was condemned a few days later with no insurance.

    I'm surprised that I haven't really felt anything since then. It's been a little too quiet.
    "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"
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  4. #4

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    I lived in Northridge at the time, about 2-3 miles from the epicenter, which I believe was at the south end of CSUN. It felt like waking up on top of a jackhammer. First time I'd ever felt an "up and down" earthquake. I'd had plenty of side-to-side (strike-slip fault) quakes, and a few rollers (thrust fault, more distance from epicenter), but never a thrust fault quake that steep, that close to the epicenter.

    The damage for the most part was as bad as it was because things are built for shaking, not vertical pounding. I remember some of those broken overpasses -- the supports seemed to have peeled like bananas.

    They say the valley floor dropped 18 inches that day. I believe it - there was a scratch on the back wall of my dad's closet from his jewelry chest that was about an 18" tall arc.

    One thing I remember is the utter darkness, replaced later by light from the burning building on fire at CSUN. Yes, those chem buildings burn brightly, don't they?

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  5. #5

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Morrigoon...so glad that you came through it since you were right there. It's also the strongest quake I ever hope to feel. and I'm a SoCal native. (And that also counts being on vacation in Northern California, north of San Francisco during the 89 Loma Prieta quake.)
    I was sports anchor in morning drive at KVEN-KHAY radio in Ventura...I was just leaving home in Ventura (about 50 miles NW of the epicenter) since I usually arrived at the station at about 4-45AM. At 4:31 I felt our house start to shake, and, as we'd always told our listeners, I stayed in the doorway while things rattled around me.
    I drove the approximately 6 miles to the station, and with the exception of police car strobe lights, it was dark. Completely dark. Spooky.
    Since the station was the county's designated place to tune for news and disaster information we had a backup power generator to keep us on the air. Needless to say, I turned from sports guy to reporter that day...and Ventura County had a number of trouble spots.
    After work, I felt a major aftershock on the 101 freeway as I headed to my news director and best friend's house in Simi Valley - near the epicenter...and nearly cried upon seeing much of what he owned inside the house in shambles. Fortunately, no major injuries to his family.
    One thing about a hurricane (as opposed to an earthquake)...at least you get some advance warning.
    VERY SCARY.
    Last edited by Radiobarry; 01-18-2006 at 01:12 AM.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  6. #6

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    My wife was going to Azusa(girlfriend at the time) When she had come up here to visit for a week, then it hit. Alot of the dorm folks were obviously shaken out of their beds. All I can remember is the CHP Officer who lost his life while traveling on one of the upper structures.Also for weeks after I used Amtrak bus to travel from BakersField while watching the progress to rebuild these freeways was amazing. I also remember when they finally had the last Caltrans truck with the electric sign flashing saying in some words "We finished". Which meant they had finished actually ahead of schedule! That is what I remember.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  7. #7

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    My son was born on Jan 27 1994...I was in labor in Torrance and we still had some very big aftershocks... I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!
    "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."











  8. #8

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    At the time I lived about 3 miles from the epicenter.

    I was at a party the night/morning before the quake and had just gotten home about an hour before the quake, drunk as a skunk.

    When the quake hit it took a few seconds for me to realize what is was, being drunk and all. Honestly, I screamed like a little girl. Once I got my bearings I sobered up WAY too quick. Unfortunately I didn't just fall into my bed with my clothes on. So like everybody else I ran outside at 4:17am in my undies only. Thankfully I had the smarts to grab a blanket on the way out. It was COLD.

    At the time my mom's roomates mother lived around the corner. Her Son In-Law comes zooming around the corner as we are all coming out, dogs and all. Our house was TOTALLY trashed. We were unable to live in it for a few weeks.

    Unfortunately for my mom's roomates mother, her house had to be totally destroyed and re-built. Seems there was a fault line running directly under her house.

    I remember all of the neighbors, the night of the quake bringing out all of their perishable meats. One of the neighbors owned a Pizza place so we had LOTS of good stuff. We all brought out our BBQ's in the middle of the cul-de-sac and had a huge block party type thing. It was sad that it took an earthquake to be able to hang with the neighbors. I slept in the back of someones truck that night. No way I was sleeping in-doors.

    The day after we went to my Aunt's in Canyon Country which took 2 1/2 hours because of the 14/5 interchange. Oddly the damage up there, only 15 miles from the Epicenter wasn't bad at all.

    We had to go to work/home throught moorpark canyon since the freeway was un-bearable.

    It was definately an interesting time, something I will never forget.


  9. #9

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    My bedroom was on the 2nd floor of my parent's house. I was litterally thrown out of bed. (we were about 120 miles north of the epi) I went downstairs and announced to The Old People that someone was really hurting. I went back to bed for a couple more hours. My dad had KTLA on, we just sat and stared at all the destruction.

    With the Loma Prieta quake, I was watching the World Series when the screen went blank. Then I heard my mom screaming from her room to come look at the pool. We lost 3-4 feet of water from the pool with that one.

  10. #10

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Man, that's a day I'll never forget...I live about 10 miles north of Northridge in Santa Clarita, and our area was hit pretty bad. I just remember the house pounding up and down and not being able to even get out of bed. All of the neighbors were just grouped together listening to the radio outside freezing. In the trailer park next door, one of the trailers was on fire and we were huddled around trying to keep warm. By the time the fire dept came, it was too late and they basically just let it burn to the ground. When the sun came up and I went back into my house, I saw furniture had literally been thrown across the room to the other side! They started to red-tag our complex, so I had to pack my valuables in my car. The next day they changed it to yellow tag and we could go back in. I had to move out for 3 months while we had to have our places fixed and reinforced. I lived north of the freeway that collapsed and couldn't get to work for the first week and then ended up taking back highways (about 40 miles out of my way) to get to work because it was shorter than waiting in the 3 hour traffic jam to get out of our valley. What a time...even today, I still remember it like it was yesterday .

  11. #11

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    gee's I was 18 at the time

  12. #12

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    I remember waking up with a deathgrip on my hubby's butt. I had to make a note to relax my fingers, or I was going to hurt him. I remember seeing blue sparks out the window, and thought it was odd. There shouldn't be lightning during an earthquake. I heard the TV fall. The tall floor lamp fell. Good thing our hands were inside the edges of the bed- that thing lodged between the waterbed edge and the wall- could have taken off a finger. I found it interesting that the water in the bed was moving pretty much every possible direction at the same time.

    This was in east Simi Valley. We got up, and the twins who were our roommates were nearly in a panic, Get in the doorway, get in the doorway!!!! What, it's over now. I was fascinated watching the large window glass flex in the aftershocks. I called my parents house in Minnesota at 5am; I figured my brother would hear it, thought mom would sleep through it. I opened with "I know mom's not up yet, but when she turns on the news let her know we're fine, there was an earthquake".

    This was our first earthquake. I had trouble sleeping for a bit after it but I'm fine now. We've had a couple small quakes in this house, but nothing major. (thank the gods)
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  13. #13

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Still happened to be at my moms house at the time, 3 miles as a crow flies from ground zero. Woke up at 4:31am literally about a foot in the air off my bed. Met mom under a door (which I now hear is a bad idea, just stay in bed!). Then the smell of gas started and I will never forget the panic I felt. Got out of the house, neighbor turned off gas and we sat in their trailer until daylight, then cleaned house as best we could and drove out to my sisters for a week in Camarillo. Power/water was off for 5 days. Had over $12,000 in damage which in reality was nothing compared to everyone else. What a day that was, along with the aftershocks that continued for years after. Good times. Good times

  14. #14

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    4:31AM - my bedroom - Simi Valley, CA (14 miles from the epicenter)

    The loud noise the woke me sounded like BTMRR was running just outside my bedroom. The bed I slept in felt like it was possessed by the Exorcist. As I quickly ran towards the door's frame as the only safe spot in the room, books and CDs flew from the shelves and hit me repeatidly.

    I heard crashing, glass breaking from a curio cabinet, and heard the power surge. The earthquake continued its violent motion for what seemed like forever. This was certainly the BIG ONE of my lifetime.

  15. #15

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    Re: Northridge Earthquake: 12 years later

    Welp, I was in bed, like most everyone else and being a light sleeper, I woke the millisecond the apt started shaking. My sister and I shared a 2 br apt on the second floor in Placentia (MILES from the epicenter) and that was by far the scariest earthquske I have ever lived through.

    Of course when i woke up and realized what was going on, it didn't help that I RAN screaming into the living rom for my sister who met me in the middle of the room and we just hugged in fear. Ok, so the fact that the living room/dining room was nothing but windows...yea not a wise place to run to.

    Structurally our place was ok, no power loss, I did not og back to sleep and some of my grandma's tea cups and saucers (antique) broke, I have a Lumier Christmas Ornament that i had out on a shelf with the rest of my Beauty and the beast stuff and he fell and broke his neck. To this day when I see him and the cracks around his neck i remember that horrible morning.

    I had to work that day and I was tired and cranky!!! I was working at Aaron Brothers at the time, so clean up (mostly frames that fell) was "fun"

    LOL I just wnted to be in my home with my sister.......safe.
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