Remembering The Deadly Northridge Earthquake, Twenty-Five Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, a previously unknown fault under the San Fernando Valley unleashed a 6.7 magnitude pre-dawn earthquake that killed dozens of people and cause billions of dollars in damages. The temblor broke water mains and left buildings in shambles after the blind thrust fault caused a block of earth to move upward. 

The early-morning quake's epicenter was located in Reseda and felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada. The shaking lasted between 10-20 seconds, with dozens of aftershocks recorded in the days following. The quake's energy was mostly directed toward the mountains that line the northern side of the valley, but there was still plenty left to cause up to $50 billion in damage across the county. 

Seventy-two people were killed, including heart attacks according to a study conducted a year after the quake. Sixteen people were killed at Northridge Meadows, a 163-unit apartment complex, after it collapsed on the parking area below, crushing the first-floor apartments. 

A CHP motorcycle officer was killed he drove off the end of a broken overpass while going to work in the early morning hours. 

Damage from the quake prompted new building codes and retrofit programs for buildings like hospitals. A 2015 ordinance aimed at preventing loss of life in major earthquakes in "soft-story" buildings like the Northridge Meadows mandated retrofits. 

Technology has also come a long way since the Northridge quake struck. Earlier this month, Los Angeles unveiled a new early-warning mobile app that can alert residents in Los Angeles County when there is a 5.0 earthquake or greater about to happen. 

Photos: Getty Images

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