Northridge Earthquake Story

Danielles story

“The Northridge Earthquake was the scariest thing I had lived through at that point in my life. I was 19 years old. It felt like minutes when it was really only seconds long. It was incredibly was noisy and rough” said Danielle Yankovich about her experience of the Northridge Earthquake. On January 17, 1994 there was a terrible earthquake that struck the San Fernando Valley at 4:30 in the morning. This earthquake was a magnitude 6.7 and was called the Northridge earthquake. The earthquake lasted approximately 10 to 20 seconds and there were a reported 57 fatalities. I interviewed my mom, survivor Danielle Yankovich, about her experience. Here is what happened from her perspective.

Where were you and what were you doing when the earthquake hit?

“I was asleep in my bedroom at my parents’ home in Moorpark when it happened. I woke up to violent shaking and I didn’t know what to do. I held on to the bars on my bed and waited for the shaking to stop. I remember it being very loud as pictures fell off the walls and furniture toppled over. I yelled for my parents and brother to make sure they were okay.”

What did you do once the shaking stopped?

“When It was finally over I went to look for my brother and my mom and dad. It was hard to see because the power was out and it was really early in the morning. We eventually found each other and headed outside to check on our neighbors to see if they were okay. Once we came back inside we were worried about aftershocks. We all slept in the living room for several days after the earthquake because it was the only room in the house that did not have things above it that could collapse on us.”

What was the damage to your parents home?

“My parents home had minor damage, furniture that was knocked over, pictures that had fallen off the walls, items on shelves that fell and broke. The pool suffered the most damage with several large cracks. It later had to be completely redone.”

Moorpark is about 20 miles away from the epicenter of the earthquake in Northridge. Was there much damage to roads or other buildings near where you were?

“No, even though the earthquake was big surprisingly there was very little major damage in Moorpark.

Is there anything else that you can tell me about your experience?

“I remember being afraid when I went back to school at UCSB because my apartment was on the bottom floor and I was scared of being crushed in my sleep if there was another earthquake.”

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to prepare for an earthquake based on your experience?

“Some tips I have are to always have extra batteries in the house and a flashlight in every room. Another thing that is a good idea is to have an escape route out of the house that everybody in the family knows. Other things that could be very useful are extra food, water, a first aid kit and a radio.”