Talk:1994 Northridge earthquake

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Conflicting Cost Claims: Loma Prieta vs. Northridge[edit]

I see the Loma Prieta earthquake article makes the claim that Loma Prieta was the costliest US natural disaster. That would seem to be in conflict with the statement in this article that Northridge was the most costly US quake or some such (I'm paraphrasing both here, these are not exact quotes). These appear to me to be mutually exclusive statements that need to be reconciled for article accuracy. Thoughts? FeloniousMonk 22:40, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that this should be addresed. I assume Wikipedia:Cite your sources would be the principle to apply. Where can we find that makes this claim? If we can't, then remove it to the talk page. Anyone want to step up and do the google and literature(sp) search? JesseW 07:10, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I also agree that there should be some sources cited...I am from California and experienced the Loma Prieta quake first-hand. As far as the damage done, I would say that Loma Prieta appeared to cause more; this, of course, is anecdotal evidence. I'll look for some other sources. I am, however, going to add the Coalinga Earthquake to the list of three destructive earthquakes. For some reason, this got missed. JustinStroud 18:26, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Interesting...I found the cited source on the bottom, the 'Insurance Information Institute'. I'm curious, though...does this figure include all the rebuilding that took place in SF and the Bay Area? I don't think it would be interesting to see a more representative figure. JustinStroud 18:32, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
If you reexamine the LP statement, it states that "The quake caused an estimated $6 billion in property damage, becoming the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history of its time." -Absolutely true and not in conflict. The LP quake preceeded Northridge and was the most expensive disaster at that time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:02, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Conflicting claims - Size[edit]

There are several conflicting claims as to the size of this quake and researching extensively, I agree with steve2nash that the quake proves to be 6.8 and centered in Northridge and NOT 6.7 and centered in Reseda. Although previous claims by Imveracious are verifiable when you look at this and accurate about steve2nash's claim in reference to the older NIST study and report, the NIST corrects incorrect data over time and has never done so with this and they are the governing body for keeping data and facts such as this and considered "the authority", "trumping" if you will other local and regional reports. Also, in 1999 5 years after the quake, this reference claims a factual representation of the Northridge Quake in a published book at a 6.9 In fairness to all concerned, it seems reasonable to leave the reading at 6.8 because the only unanimously accepted governing body and actual worldwide accepted authority by our nation and others in its field is the NIST. Here's the 2 links to the book and article showing a higher reading [[1]] and [[2]]

While I agree with much of what Imveracious writes and edits throughout the article, I agree with steve2nash as to the accuracy and referencing body that disputes it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by A&RBoss (talkcontribs) 23:15, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

The NIST is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and designated by Congress as the lead agency for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Their office supports the NEHRP Secretariat Office, which coordinates the NEHRP research and implementation activities for the four NEHRP agencies – the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NIST, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS is the agency directly involved with earthquakes. If you can show otherwise, please do. Thanks Imveracious (talk) 15:34, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Apartment collapse[edit]

There was a three-story apartment building in which the middle floor collapsed during or immediately after the quake. It dominated the news at the time (I lived in Gardena, CA back then) but doesn't seem to be mentioned here. I am unfamiliar with proper wiki formatting, but I thought this is pertinent information that might need to be added to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:44, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe you're referring to the Northridge Meadows apartments, which structure is discussed under the structural failures section. Bob Kerns (talk) 18:37, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Conflicting Claims: Number of Deaths[edit]

The first and third paragraphs disagree as to how many deaths (72 vs 57). Both may be reasonable based on citations, but both need citations! Bob Kerns (talk) 18:32, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

A quote from Wisner et al. 2004.At Risk. 2nd Edition gives a range from 33 to 150+. 33 is the number of deaths from direct or indirect earthquake injuries[3], 57 is the number of deaths caused directly or indirectly by the earthquake (as defined by the LA County coroner) (although I can't find a direct source for this, it is quoted many times) and 150+ is the number of people whose surviving dependants received death benefits from FEMA (I can't find an independent source for this either). The source given for deaths and injuries in the article actually quotes a figure of 61 dead. Because different numbers come from different methodologies, e.g. from estimating the number of excess heart attacks on the day of the 'quake, I suggest we stick with the widely quoted 57. Mikenorton (talk) 11:41, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Complicating matters further, the USGS give 60 fatalities [4] and a search of documents on the FEMA website gives mainly 57, one 60+ and a couple of 72s. On balance 57 is the most supported but it all goes to show that there can never be anything like a definitive death toll in a disaster like this. Mikenorton (talk) 14:21, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Freeway images[edit]

I've uploaded three images of the fallen 10 freeway that I took near my house. I'm not much of a photo editor, so they still need some work on cropping, enlarging the important elements, and so on. I hope that some kind soul from the community could help with this. If you need larger pixel images, let me know. (The source is normal size photo prints, so I'm not sure how much more resolution can be usefully gained, though.) If you feel that there are too many pictures, please add more text, or other pictures, rather than removing them (or at least, explain your reasoning here. ;-) ) JesseW 07:10, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Damage estimates[edit]

Added link to CSSC web-page showing significant California earthquakes (which needs to be updated). While Northridge did cause significantly more damage than the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, dollar amounts are always approximate and in any case, should probably be adjusted somehow for inflation. Eliminated mention of damaging earthquakes in 23 years; there were several others in that time period that caused damage and at least two caused casualties (Whittier and Landers)as well and 23 years seems somewhat arbitary.

Removed part about Anaheim City council and revised sentence on thrust acceleration. As written it made no sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:11, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

what caused the northridge earthquake[edit]

I want to know whay caused the earthquake? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:38, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Simple answer: Plate techtonics —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:38, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

MLK's birthday[edit]

I don't understand the association with MLK's birthday. I do not see any valid reason to mention this. If it had happened on Truman's birthday, would Wikipedia make such a fuss? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Educate (talkcontribs) 02:03, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

It was important to mention, because it was a part of a three-day-weekend, where many people were not going to work or school. The morning was relatively calm, and if it had been just a regular day, I can bet there would have been more people hurt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
As the earthquake occured at 4:30am, the number of casualties probably wouldn't have been very different as it's still the middle of the night when most people are sleeping. But I do agree that the MLK Day is mentioned because it was a legal holiday that is notable. Harry Truman's birthday is not a holiday and I'm guessing, justified or not, most people don't even know what part of the year Truman was born or care. --Marriedtofilm 05:45, 4 October 2006 (UTC).
Harry Truman's birthday is a holiday; it is VE Day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
There might have been more people out there if had not been a holiday, even at 4:30am. But the other important thing is that because it was a holiday, it probably helped keep people off the roads after the quake instead of trying to get to work. It took a while to assess the damage and not everyone who commutes into LA would have felt the strength. Plus there were some significant aftershocks throughout the day, which caused more damage. Just my two cents based on being there. (Also near Sepulveda and Olympic, oddly enough). —Preceding unsigned comment added by OwenSaunders (talkcontribs) 18:40, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Truman's birthday is not considered a holiday in Los Angeles or in California. Many Angelenos who go to work in the morning and have a long commute may be up at 4:30am. And as pointed out, many people were taking the day off anyway because government offices and schools were going to be closed. If the quake had happened just a few hours later, this would be even more important as the freeways would have been crowded. There was even a freeway that had a whole segment fall several feet down (Interstate 5 near Newhall) which only resulted in one death on 1/17/94 because it was so early and on a holiday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

Damage cost[edit]

Hi, there! I am doing a report on this whole disaster. I'm from Madison Middle School! Can anybody give me some ideas about the damage the earthquake costed, please? That will be very helpful! Thanks! Bye! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

what caused it?[edit]

It was caused by the release of stress along faults under the Los Angeles basin. The movement is caused by the ongoing movement between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:04, 8 June 2007 (UTC) Hello here a student at byrd middle school having to write a 9 paagraph essay on the northridge earthquake i would like to know how long did it take to the people of the N.R.E.Q to recover to go back to thier regular jobs and living a normal life agian- Thank You(: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Epicenter in Reseda[edit]

I've read a few things (even here on Wiki) saying that the epicenter was actually in Reseda and that the media only termed it "Northridge Earthquake" to garner more funds as Northridge homes a more upper class than Reseda. Should we add this bit to the page? Modenadude 14:45, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I lived a block and a half from the epicenter in the apartment on Reseda & Keswick, (one report said it was at Wilbur & Saticoy another said Yolanda & Saticoy). I truly don't now why the name was give "Northridge Earthquake", I thought because of the people that lost their lives there. Although I was not happy with it being named that, do understand that the San Fernando Valley has many many apartment building all through it. If you drive along Reseda Blvd from Ventura Blvd all the way to Roscoe Blvd(still city of Reseda) you will see two things businesses and apartment buildings. I thought that the Earthquake was named from the epicenter (Sylar, Loma Pieta), however this instance it was not... go figure.

No disrespect to Modenadude, please forgive if done wrong.

mgamalm 12:16am, 5/13/2008 —Preceding comment was added at 07:18, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I also lived close to the epicenter, am a scientist and worked on the Quake with the The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The epicenter, although close to Reseda is officially listed as Northridge and that information is correct. Also the magnitude is actually a 6.8 officially NOT a 6.7 as stated in the Wiki article several times. I know we that lived in the Reseda area got hit hard by this Quake, but our National studies, and the Scientific bodies that govern them are the sources for all of us to use as referencing our facts. As I'm sure with you, all of us that lived through that disaster are hoping to never repeat the experience again and as I'm sure most would agree, want the information listed in an Encyclopedia for the world to see needs to be as verified and accurate as possible. The The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is one of the highest authorities on Earth for verifying this type of information and is the key authority in the United States, where the earthquake occurred.

--Steven2nash (talk) 19:22, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

While what you say may be correct, the seismological community holds that the Mw magnituide was 6.7 for this event. Imveracious (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Including the USGS stating 6.7 here. Bahooka (talk) 19:41, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
And the Southern California Earthquake Data Center [5] et. al. If no others agree with the "new" figure it should be reversed. Imveracious (talk) 19:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
The Publication Citation: 1994 Northridge Earthquake from the NIST is a old publication and since that time facts have changed to what is known now. It was published May 01, 1994.... Imveracious (talk) 20:02, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Article reverted to as was. Imveracious (talk) 20:23, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The section on Epicenter states rather vaguely that "This was the first instance with a hypocenter directly beneath a U.S. city since the 1933 Long Beach earthquake." Not sure what this was an instance of--it certainly wasn't the first instance of an earthquake with a hypocenter directly beneath a U.S. city (there are thousands every year); it wasn't the first instance of a major earthquake with a hypocenter directly beneath a U.S. city; Southern California has had dozens of major earthquakes in the 61 year period identified, many of which had hypocenters directly beneath cities (e.g. 1987 Whitter, 1971 Sylmar). Cannot clarify or confirm based on citation, as citation link is dead. I am removing the claim. Pcress (talk) 21:29, 14 June 2018 (UTC)


Personally, I think it would be a very reasonable idea if you described some of your pictures more in the captions - I do not understand two of your captions. If you added more pictures or increased the definition of the existing ones it would be a very good article.

Please do not receive my comments as critisms - in fact I found it a very useful source for study. Thank you a lot for taking the trouble.

Stoatystoatrock (talk) 16:11, 3 November 2013 (UTC)


Dawnseeker2000, How is what I added considered WP:COPYVIO? Imveracious (talk) 17:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Because it was an almost verbatim copy of the text used in the cited source, which would make it a copyright violation. Mikenorton (talk) 18:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I've tweaked your paraphrase slightly to distance it further from the original text. Mikenorton (talk) 18:19, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Cultural references[edit]

Could we have a section on cultural references? There are songs, amongst other things, about this.