Earthquake Give Heart Thumping Fear

By Katrina Bohanec

Whittier Narrows Earthquake


Fifteen year old Angela and her family experienced the Whittier Narrows Earthquake. On October 1, 1987 the Whittier Narrows Earthquake struck. The Earthquake occurred in the Southern San Gabriel Valley. Angela and her family tell us about what happened on that day.


On October 1st at 7:42 A.M. Angela was driving in the car with her mom, Connie, when the earthquake happened. The car shook from side to side and they thought they had a flat tire. They continued on their way to the school and saw fallen trees and street lamps not working. They turned on the radio and heard there had just been a major earthquake.When they arrived at the school the vice principal was telling everyone to go home. Connie was working at the school at the time, and they asked her to stay until every student went home. Connie could not contact her husband Ralph. She was able to contact the neighbor and the neighbor told Ralph they were alright.


The magnitude of the Whittier Narrows Earthquake was 5.9. On their way home they saw a lot of damaged buildings, including the San Gabriel Mission. When Angela and Connie arrived home there were fallen bottles and glasses. They picked everything up with no electricity at their house and went to bed. In the middle of the night there was a strong aftershock. They all woke and Connie asked if everyone was alright. Angela was scared and could feel her heart thumping. Angela asked if she could sleep with her parents.


These people I interviewed were my mom and my grandparents. For future earthquakes they said it would be good to keep emergency supplies in one area because they were not able to find the things they needed. The supplies that they needed included first aid kit, water, canned food, can opener, garbage bags, gloves, flashlights, batteries, extra clothes, blankets, tarps, and a dustpan.














An image of the San Gabriel Mission after the earthquake.