Northridge Earthquake

Topics: Earthquake, San Fernando Valley, Santa Susana Mountains Pages: 2 (523 words) Published: November 28, 2010
Earthquakes are vibrations of earth caused by the rapid release of energy. These earthquakes can be caused by faults in the Earth’s crust scraping against each other. Faults are constantly sliding past each other, but can occasionally have difficulty when the earth around these faults cracks, causing the path to become rugged. When they don’t slide easily, they cause tension. When the tension and pressure is released, this causes said vibrations that can be large enough to damage and destroy cities, or so small that they can only be detected by a seismograph. Economic cost was high with losses estimated at $40 billion. The earthquake severely tested building codes, earthquake-resistant construction and emergency preparation and response procedures. The experience confirmed many of the lessons learned from past earthquakes, exposed weaknesses in the society’s generally resilient fabric, and produced many surprises about the levels and consequences of strong ground shaking. Near the epicenter in the San Fernando Valley, well-engineered buildings withstood violent shaking without structural damage. However, numerous structural failures throughout the region were evidence of significant deficiencies in design or construction methods. Steel frames of buildings intended for seismic resistance were cracked, and reinforced concrete columns were crushed. The Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17 in Northridge lasting for about 45 seconds. The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7. About 57 deaths were attributed to the earthquake, with about 9,000 injured. This earthquake caused damage that cost billions of dollars and a large amount of time to repair. Parking garages collapsed, brick buildings collapsed in Hollywood, 9 freeway bridges were left in shambles and sections of freeways collapsed. Santa Monica was also affected by this earthquake. Furthermore, the Northridge earthquake triggered landslides in the Santa Susana Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, and western...
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