Magnitude 6.7 quake near Northridge, California

Last updated: 2014-10-13 21:28:56 UTC

Global view of quake


At 4:30 am, on January 17, 1994, residents of the greater Los Angeles area were rudely awakened by the strong shaking of the Northridge earthquake. This was the first earthquake to strike directly under an urban area of the United States since the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

The earthquake occurred on a blind thrust fault, and produced the strongest ground motions ever instrumentally recorded in an urban setting in North America. Damage was wide-spread, sections of major freeways collapsed, parking structures and office buildings collapsed, and numerous apartment buildings suffered irreparable damage. Damage to wood-frame apartment houses was very widespread in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica areas, especially to structures with "soft" first floor or lower-level parking garages. The high accelerations, both vertical and horizontal, lifted structures off of their foundations and/or shifted walls laterally.

Source: SCEC

Event Map

Global mecator event map

Event Parameters

Latitude Longitude Origin time (UTC) Origin time (PST) Depth (km) Mw Author
34.2130 -118.5369 01/17/94 (017) 12:30.55 01/17/94 (017) 04:30.55 18.4 6.7 SCEC

* The location and magnitude determined for this event are preliminary and are subject to change upon further review of seismic data.

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