The Northidge Earthquake

Isaac Phe

Interview of Grandma Lolita Hassan about the Northridge Earthquake

“I remember when I got home it was a mess! The ceiling was cracked in half, all the dishes fell and they were all broken!" I interviewed my Grandma Lolita Hassan, who lived in Northridge where the earthquake occurred and only three miles from the epicenter, which was Reseda. The Northridge California earthquake occurred in 1994, at approximately 4:30 am. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.7. The coordinates of the earthquake was 34°12'47"N 118°32'12"W. The cities that also experienced the earthquake were Los Angeles, Glendale, and Santa Clarita. Now, let’s dig deeper into the information about the Northridge Earthquake.

While interviewing my Grandma Lolita, she shared many interesting facts what she and her family experienced during the earthquake. She first shared that she was working in the Emergency Room of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles taking care of her patients when everything suddenly began to shake. Everyone was very scared, because the entire hospital shook. Cabinets opened and medicine fell everywhere. All the nurses had to check all the rooms to determine if the patients were fine. Soon after the earthquake occurred, even more people came rushing into the hospital with severe injuries. However, she stated that everyone who made it to the hospital was treated with care.

After work, Grandma Lolita wanted to check if her daughter Dianne was fine since she was home alone. Fortunately, Dianne went to the neighbor’s house for security and to avoid being alone. After she called her daughter, Grandma Lolita completed her work shift and drove home. Instead of the drive being the normal thirty minutes, it took two hours for her to arrive home. The delay was caused by cracked roads and pipes that burst causing floods and detours. When she arrived home, everything was a mess. All the cabinets were opened with the dishes shattered on the ground. Her ceiling upstairs was separated. She also noticed that she had no water because all their pipes had burst. Fortunately, no one in the family was injured.

After she cleaned up everything that fell, Grandma Lolita saw on the news that many apartments and even parking structures collapsed. Many people were injured and dead. Later, my other Grandma Mila came with my Uncle Anthony and brought food and water to Grandma Lolita's house. Grandma Lolita was very thankful for all of the food my Grandma Mila and Uncle Anthony cooked for her family. A few hours after the earthquake there were aftershocks. Grandma Lolita’s daughter Dianne was very scared of the aftershocks so she slept in the van.

Some tips she gave me for earthquakes were to be prepared for the worse event, stay calm, and don’t freak out. In the worse times, you must stay calm and know that your family will be there for you and protect you. During earthquakes you must take cover under a stable table and ball up and cover your head and neck. Also, she said to never be in the kitchen while an earthquake occurs or else dishware will fall on you. Finally, she said to never go outside during an earthquake because of the debris falling from the house or buildings that may cause injury.