The Pasadena Times...

Grace Fadden

Northridge earthquake 1994 interview with Susan Nomura


The ground started shaking violently, my husband and I ran to the children all the while shouting at them to get under the doorway. The shaking continued for what seemed like a lifetime but in reality it was only about 10 seconds. Finally the shaking stopped and my family and I stepped out from under the doorway feeling very fortunate to be left unscathed after such a horrendous earthquake.

I interviewed my next door neighbor Susan Nomura about her experience with earthquakes throughout her life, in total she has survived three major quakes. The most serious one however was the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, on the 17th January the earthquake shook Los Angeles with great force leading to $25 billion in damage. As a result of the earthquake 57 people died and many more were injured.

The earthquake hit the greater Los Angeles area at around 4:31 am, wreaking havoc in the early hours of the morning, waking millions of people from their sleep. Mrs. Nomura recalls waking up feeling panicked, worried and anxious. She knew instantly what was happening when she felt the tremors. Due to the fact that she had been in other large earthquakes Mrs. Nomura knew more or less knew what to do. Her first instinct was for her and her family to run to the doorway knowing that it was one of the safest places to be and wait for the earthquake to stop so that they could survey the damage and check to see if anyone was hurt. In the hours that followed the dreadful event she was very mindful of the fact that there could be an aftershock and prepared herself and her family for that very likely possibility.

Luckily the earthquake left only minor damage to her property such as cracked walls and a broken chimney but none of that mattered because she and her family was safe.

Mrs. Nomura’s tips to anyone who is unsure how to prepare for an earthquake is to always drive with a full tank of fuel; to have food and water supplies on hand; and to keep small bills to purchase necessities in case the electricity supply is down.

Earthquakes are frightening but the key is to always be prepared for the worst, being so close to the San Andres fault it is particularly important to be aware of how we can be safe during an earthquake.

Lear More

If you would like to learn more about the ear quake please click the link below.


1994 Northridge earthquake - Wikipedia, the free ...