Family Earthquake Story

Grace Gannon

Northridge Earthquake


“So many people were shocked, scared, and countless people were crying.”

-Michael Gannon



I interviewed my dad for this project. My dad experienced the Northridge Earthquake. He was 31 when the earthquake struck. The earthquake hit on January 17, 1994 at 4:30am. This earthquake took place in the center of Reseda, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. This earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7.


My dad said that when the Northridge Earthquake hit he was living in Studio City, California. He was sleeping in bed, and all the sudden he felt violent shaking! He felt like a monster was under his bed picking it up and dropping it down. This movement was repeating over and over. There was complete darkness. No lights were on which made it more scary because he couldn’t see anything. My dad heard rumbling and things crashing.


During this dreadful shake my dad stayed right where he was. It was shaking so hard that he couldn’t get out of bed. Also, it was so dark he didn’t want to risk getting hurt. My dad said that there was tons of damage. There was damage in his house and much more outside. My dad said his plates broke, glasses shattered, and bookshelves knocked over. Outside, the walls and buildings collapsed, and freeways toppled over.


Something he did was call his parents (my Grandma and Grandpa). My dad told them that he was just in a massive earthquake and that he was okay. Also, so many people were shocked, scared, and countless people were crying. The biggest thing he remembered were the huge aftershocks. They continued for days. When the aftershocks hit everyone was scared that it was going to be a bigger one!


I learned that the Northridge Earthquake was a tragedy. The Northridge Earthquake was one of California’s worst earthquakes! This earthquake killed 57 people, injured 8,700, and left 20,000 people homeless. It was very terrifying. This earthquake had a cost of $20 billion dollars in damage! It lasted 10-20 seconds! I hope I never have to experience anything that awful one day.




After talking to my dad, I learned that there are many ways to survive earthquakes. Some tips he told me were:


  • Keep a flashlight by your bedside.

  • Earthquake proof your house (all furniture).

  • Have enough food and water to last multiple days without leaving the house.
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