Northridge Earthquake 10 Year Anniversary

The Northridge Earthquake occurred at 4:31 A.M., PST, on Monday, January 17, 1994. The magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurred on a fault located 12 miles beneath the San Fernando Valley. The earthquake caused widespread damage, and thousands of aftershocks, many in the magnitude 4.0 to 5.0 range, occurred during the next few weeks, further damaging already-affected structures. The death toll was 61, more than 1,500 people were seriously injured, and property damage was over $40 billion. (California Department of Finance) It was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, on a par with Hurricane Andrew in terms of financial loss.

The magnitude 6.7 temblor caused some of the strongest ground motion ever recorded. Most damage was caused by shaking, but ground failure and several dozen fires triggered by the earthquake also caused substantial damage. This strong shaking and the epicenter's location within the densely built-up San Fernando Valley were major contributors to the large losses.

                         3-D MODEL

Link to 3D Model of Seismic Hazards


View the new Seismic Hazards 3-D Animation of the Los Angeles Area.

View selected snapshots of the Seismic Hazards 3-D Animation of the Los Angeles Area.

Map Explanation for the  Seismic Hazards 3-D Animation and Snapshots

                  LEARN MORE

Northridge Earthquake Anniversary Press Release.

Articles about the Northridge Earthquake.

For an overview of the Earthquake, you may wish to read California Geological Survey's (CGS) Special Publication 116, "The Northridge, California, Earthquake of 17 January, 1994". This publication can be purchased for $20.00 plus $4.00 s/h. Click here for order information.

California has made great strides in earthquake safety since the devastating 1994 Northridge Earthquake

As a consequence of the severe losses caused by this event, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Now under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) awarded the California Geological Survey nearly $20 million to accelerate the zoning of earthquake hazards under the Seismic Hazards Mapping Act of 1990. Since the Northridge event, over 6000 square miles of land covering the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, including all of Orange County and half of Ventura County, and portions of the San Francisco Bay Area have been zoned under the Act. This area includes more than 150 incorporated cities and developing county lands that have an aggregate population exceeding 12 million, and an average annual construction volume of over $10 billion. These communities are now benefiting from safer development.