Pasadena Strong Times

1/5/16

Looking back at the 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake


By: Ryan McBride

"I realized something felt odd." I interviewed Luz-Maria Nunez McBride (my Mother) on her experience of the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake. The earthquake occurred on October 1st, 1987 at 7:42 a.m. It had a moderate 5.9 magnitude. Three people died as a direct result and many others were injured.

When the quake reached Nunez-McBride's location she was in Pasadena driving herself to school (She attended Mayfield Senior School). When the quake hit Nunez-McBride realized something felt odd, but she didn't realize that an earthquake had just struck. When got to school, everyone Was talking about an earthquake. Then it hit her, it felt odd going to school, because there was an earthquake.


The damage the earthquake caused at Nunez-McBride's house was very little, mostly just things falling off shelves. But, there was more damage done in other places, especially near the epicenter of the quake. 123 homes and 1,347 apartments were destroyed and 513 homes and 2,040 apartments were damaged throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. There were fractures in support beams on a highway bridge on Interstate 605. Also, over 1,000 gas leaks, many resulted in fire.

Nunez-McBride says to always stay prepared for an earthquake she made an earthquake preparedness kit. The kit contains first aid supplies, water, food, flashlights, a radio, batteries, spare clothes, tarps, rain ponchos, light blankets, tools and emergency contact information. She recommends everyone to make one of these kits so in case of an emergency you are ready and prepared

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