The Stone Wall Times

Gabriel Bonzon

Story of Myla, Northridge Earthquake Survivor

The Northridge Earthquake


Gabriel Bonzon


“My roommate was so scared I had to pretend to be calm to calm him down,” said Myla when I interviewed her about the Northridge Earthquake. Myla is my mother who experienced a massive earthquake called the Northridge Earthquake. The Northridge earthquake had a moment magnitude of 6.7, which was the highest ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America.

The Northridge earthquake was a devastating earthquake that occurred on January 17, 1994 at around 4:30 A.M. and was centered in Reseda, which is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. Myla was at home with her roommate when the Northridge earthquake took place. When she felt the earthquake starting to happen,she and her roommate were very scared. In fact her roommate was so scared she pretended to be calm to calm him down. When they were calmer they hid in a corner and forgot to duck and cover.


Damage the Earthquake Caused

Since Myla wasn’t near the epicenter of the earthquake, the damage in her neighborhood was minor, some paintings and picture frames fell but nothing important got damaged. When she drove near the epicenter, houses were destroyed, buildings collapsed, roads shattered, and trees fell on the road. The damage was definitely more than she expected. The death toll was 57 with more than 5,000 injured. In addition to that, earthquake-caused property damage was estimated to be between $13 and $40 billion, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Tips Myla has for you

Ever since Myla experienced such a costly and harmful earthquake, she gave me some tips to help you survive if there is another one. She recommends having at least three days worth of food and water in a lower part of the house, so in case you get trapped in your house, you have enough food while waiting for help to come. Have a radio and flashlight to get around your house and try to call for help. Lastly, have an evacuation and survival plan to increase your chances of surviving a massive earthquake.