Los Angeles Times
Drive,Drive,Drive. That’s what my dad thought when he was in the Northridge Earthquake as part of a building slided off next to him. I interviewed my dad to hear about his experience on this deadly day more 20 years ago. My dad witnessed the Northridge earthquake with his own eyes. It was located in Northridge. The date was January 17, 1994. It was a 6.7 Earthquake.
It was a normal morning morning in Northridge California until 4:30AM when a 6.7 Earthquake struck the area. The earthquake was so strong that it was felt 220 miles away in Las Vegas. My dad was asleep when bed when the quake hit. My dad awoke as the house shook around him and his stereo speakers fell from his bookshelf to hit him while in his bed. My dad proceeded to get out bed and wait out the shaking within the doorway of jam his bedroom. After the shaking my dad went to work as normal. At
My dad was living in South Pasadena and working in Century City for a company called Bear Stearns. In order for my dad to get to work he drove the pasadena freeway to the 10 west to Westwood. The first thing my dad noticed was how dark it was when driving on the freeway. The earthquake had knocked out all the power and it was very early in the morning.
The next thing that my dad experienced was that traffic stopped on the 10 West Freeway as he approached La Cienega. The strength of the earthquake had caused the overpass bridge to collapse. THe result was there was no way to cross the freeway at this point. All cars we taken off the freeway and allowed to re enter a few exits later.
Upon arriving at his office he was informed that the building was closed and he needed to go home.
My dad was unsure what to do at this point as the has seen the problems on the freeway. He decided to leave West Los Angeles and drive back to Pasadena using Coldwater Canyon Blvd. As he drove up the hill he saw many thing. He saw many landslides some of which were onto houses. He saw a gas main break within one of those landslides.
When my dad came over the hill into the valley around 8:30 in the morning he saw an aftershock that caused a piece of a building to slide off and fall three stories down and almost land on top of a woman who was walking on the sidewalk.
After my dad witnessed the building fall he immediately drove home to make sure that all in his family were safe and that the house had not collapsed. He did this because he has great devotion for his family. The damage that affected my dad’s home was cracks in the walls and broken glasses on the floor.
My dad says it is very important to be ready for a natural disaster because we live in such an earthquake prone city. Our family we has emergency supplies in our garage. We have enough water for 2 weeks, canned food for three weeks and tents in case we have to sleep outside.
THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE
by JT Withers