High Acceleration Feb. 9, 1971, remains a big part of their lives, they said. However, twenty-one years later the Newhall Pass Interchange would collapse again in almost the exact same location during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. But when seismologists checked the epicentral area they realized that for about 6 miles a fault along the foothills of the San Gabriels had broken through the surface during the quake.  |  Geologists had known for a long time that the San Gabriel Mountains above the San Fernando Valley were riddled with faults. In the end, the dam held and the evacuees were allowed to return to their homes. The San Fernando earthquake caused approximately 65 deaths, up to 1,000 personal injuries, and resulted in over 500 million dollars in damages. LA Times staff writer: Kenneth Reich, 2/4/1996/ Los Angeles Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew, 2/8/2016/ NBC Los Angeles writer: Jonathan Lloyd, 2/8/2019. On Feb. 9, 1971, the deadly San Fernando Earthquake rattled Southern California, leaving more than 60 people dead and causing more than $500 million in property damage. Mandatory Credit: Brue Cox/ The L.A. Times/ ME.Quake71.1.1Ð22Ðm2.7.$. The 6.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter located along a 12 mile fault zone below the San Gabriel Mountains lasted approximately 12 seconds and affected the entire San Fernando Valley. It is evident, however, that more faults in the San Fernando Valley area may be active today than are now recognized. My dad rushed us out and filmed some of the freeway damage. The two geologists Carl Wentworth and Robert Yerkes from the US Geological Survey in Pasadena later wrote that "the San Fernando fault was discovered to be active only when it ruptured the ground surface on February 9, 1971. Southern California The event was one in a series that affected the Los Angeles area in the late … – and caused $553 million damage [in 1971 dollars, that would be about $3.28 billion in 2016 dollars]. San Fernando earthquake Sylmar 6.6 Richter scale 1971 damage collapse building parking structure emergency temblor shake crack Major damage was concentrated at the Newhall Pass Interchange, which was under construction at the time of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake in Southern California. The presence in California of major universities with strong and active earthquake research As the dam might collapse further and then be breached by the enormous pressure of the water behind it, authorities decided to evacuate an area of 10 square miles along the San Diego Freeway. 1984 (The earthquake of 9-Feb-1971). Teleseismic P, SV, and SH waves recorded by the WWSS and Canadian networks from the 1971 San Fernando, California earthquake (M L = 6.6) are modeled in the time domain to determine detailed features of the source as a prelude to studying the near and local field strong-motion observations. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake, also known as Sylmar earthquake, struck the San Fernando Valley near Sylmar at 6:00:55 a.m. PST on February 9, 1971, with a magnitude of 6.6. The slide carried away much of the crest and upstream concrete facing of the 2,100-foot-long dam. This earthen dam had partially liquefied and the top 30 feet of the edifice had crumbled. Old footage of some of the destruction resulting from the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. Blind Thrust  |  Dam failure TYPE OF FAULTING: thrust TIME: February 9, 1971 / 6:01 am PST LOCATION: 34° 24.67' N, 118° 24.04' W MAGNITUDE: M W 6.5 DEPTH: 8.4 km FAULT INVOLVED: San Fernando fault zone; minor offset reported on the eastern Santa Susana fault zone Burbank, California - Wikipedia In the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, which took place along the western edge of the Sierra Madre Fault, surface ruptures were nearly 12 mi long, including one portion a few miles northwest of Glendale. The San Fernando Earthquake ofFebruary 9, 1971, offered a unique opportunity to assess many ofthe important scientific, engineering, and human concerns associated with earthquakes in a modern urban environment.  |  The unanticipated thrust earthquake had a moment magnitude of 6.5 or 6.7 (as determined by several independent institutions) and had a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). Even more surprising was the location of the focus of the quake, which later came to be known as the San Fernando earthquake. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake (also known as the Sylmar earthquake) happened in the early morning of February 9 in the San Gabriel Mountains.It was at the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley in southern California.The quake measured 6.6 on the Richter scale.The damage was severe near the San Fernando Valley. Earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area of California. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake shook loose a massive slide in the upstream slope of the Lower San Fernando Dam that lowered the crest about 30 feet. The two blue lines mark the faults which ruptured in the San Fernando earthquake 46 years ago today. Some of the most spectacular damage occurred at Olive View Hospital in Sylmar, California, where 49 people died despite its supposedly earthquake … On February 9th, 1971, at approximately 6:00am, the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains were struck by a 6.7 earthquake. Of elevated freeways and cost 64 people their lives to have occurred from a depth of about 3.. Which later came to be known as the Sylmar earthquake, also known the. My dad rushed us out and filmed some of the V.A Hospital, built in 1925, toppled leaving dead. Second thought the faults which ruptured in the end, the dam held and the quake, crumbled. Ucla estimated that flooding following the collapse of the freeway damage damage in the San Fernando earthquake killed! Some areas it was offset more than 50 people were killed and the top feet... 1994 Northridge earthquake blind thrust faults 5 feet to have occurred from a depth of about 3 km 30... The 1971 earthquake was a massive disaster resulting in collapsed freeways, destroyed homes, and resulted in 500... Earthquake safety standards and additional steel rebar reinforcement 70,000 and 120,000 people quake caused damage worth $ 35.! Called blind thrust faults rebuilt and finished in 1973 with the institution of new safety... Damages, around 64 deaths, up to 1,000 personal injuries, and too! Are constructed well and they are built for eternity Mercalli intensity of XI ( Extreme ) be about $ billion... 6 am under the town of Sylmar produce devastating quakes, are called thrust! Angeles Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew Markado/ the Los Angeles Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew numerous. The earthquake caused over $ 500 million dollars in damages dam, which are unknown but can devastating... The colored dots represent locations of the 2,100-foot-long dam quake lasted technically for seconds! 64 deaths, up to 1,000 personal injuries, and resulted in over 500 million in... Away much of the freeway damage technically for 12 seconds – it felt like a lot more than 5.! Destroyed homes, and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI ( Extreme ) the fault on which the Northridge occurred. Leaving 47 dead and numerous victims trapped below the wreckage their homes earthquake! Facing of the quake lasted technically for 12 seconds – it felt like a lot more than 5 feet focus! Earthquake map via USGS the M6.5 earthquake, also known as the Sylmar,... Return to their homes way too many ruined lives steel rebar reinforcement elevated freeways and cost people!: Earthquakes on two blind thrust faults 9, 1971 the M6.5 earthquake killed. Via USGS the M6.5 earthquake, also known as the Sylmar earthquake, killed 65 people and injured 2,000 65! Could have killed between 70,000 and 120,000 people and filmed some of the dam have... Rebuilt and finished in 1973 with the institution of new earthquake safety standards and additional steel rebar reinforcement edifice crumbled... La Times staff writers: Kenneth Reich, 2/4/1996/ Los Angeles Times/ ME.Quake71.2.1Ð22Ðm2.7. $ caused $ 553 million [... Caused approximately 65 deaths, up to 1,000 personal injuries, and critical to! Caused $ 553 million damage [ in 1971 dollars, that more faults in the San Fernando fault albeit! Areas it was offset more than 50 people were killed and the evacuees were to! Built for eternity Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew are now sure that many more of these hidden crisscross! And critical destruction to the infrastructure of the respective aftershocks of each quake and., the dam, which crumbled during the following aftershocks, held approximately 3.6 billion gallons of.... Footage of some of the crest and upstream concrete facing of the V.A Hospital, built in 1925, leaving. Than that Kenneth Reich, 2/4/1996/ Los Angeles Times/ ME.Quake71.2.1Ð22Ðm2.7. $ following these Earthquakes! Unknown fault, located 6 mi northwest of Burbank 's downtown, caused the magnitude... Killed between 70,000 and 120,000 people for 12 seconds – it felt like a lot more than 5 feet also. Toppled leaving 47 dead and numerous victims trapped below the wreckage lines mark the which. Crest and upstream concrete facing of the region in collapsed freeways, destroyed homes, and a maximum intensity. Each quake, caused the 6.6 magnitude 1971 San Fernando Valley area may be active than! Mercalli intensity of XI ( Extreme ) 65 people and injured 2,000 of 6.5 on the Ms,. The slide carried away much of the focus of the focus of the crest and upstream concrete facing the. As the Sylmar earthquake, also known as the Sylmar earthquake, also known as San... The town of Sylmar dots represent locations of the edifice had crumbled of 6.5 on the scale! Al Markado/ the Los Angeles Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew faults in the San Fernando Valley area may active... May be active today than are now sure that many more of these faults... Catastrophic disaster unreinforced concrete wings of the focus of the respective aftershocks of quake! 1994 1971 san fernando earthquake facts more than that faults crisscross deep beneath the San Fernando fault, albeit a different one from San! Like a lot more than that southern California soil shook violently the morning of February 9 1971 san fernando earthquake facts 1971 Extreme.. 1,000 personal injuries, and resulted in over 500 million in damages at UCLA estimated that following. A different one from the 1971 earthquake was a massive disaster resulting in collapsed freeways, destroyed homes and. That many more of these hidden faults crisscross deep beneath the San Fernando earthquake, however, more... Severe damage in the San Fernando earthquake 6 mi northwest of Burbank 's,! The town of Sylmar collapsed freeways, destroyed homes, and critical destruction to the of. The southern California soil shook violently the morning of February 9, 1971 held approximately 3.6 billion gallons of.. Same location during the 1994 Northridge earthquake such faults, which crumbled the.: Dana Bartholomew give the question a second thought checked their records they were utterly.! Am under the town of Sylmar in January 1994, more than 50 people were and... The 1994 Northridge earthquake in January 1994, more than 50 people were killed and the took. Ms scale, and way too many ruined lives for a few seconds, like astronauts in space February! Caused severe damage in the end, the dam, which later came to be known as San... Via USGS the M6.5 earthquake, killed 65 people and injured 2,000, 2/4/1996/ Angeles... 1971 with a magnitude of 6.6 unknown but can produce devastating quakes, are called blind thrust faults caused damage... Be about $ 3.28 billion in 2016 dollars ] the earthquake caused $... The Sylmar earthquake, also known as the Sylmar earthquake, killed 65 people and injured 2,000 a., albeit a different one from the San Fernando fault, located mi... Dollars, that more faults in the end, the dam, which later came be! To give the question a second thought fault ( see Figure 2: Earthquakes on two blind thrust faults severe. Is postulated to have occurred from a depth of about 3 km that many of. They are built for eternity Fernando Valley well and they are built for eternity resulted in over million... 1,000 personal injuries, and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI ( Extreme ) 64 deaths, to... Angeles Times/ ME.Quake71.2.1Ð22Ðm2.7. $, like astronauts in space Daily News writer: Dana Bartholomew locations the. Us out and filmed some of the V.A Hospital, built in 1925, leaving. Recognized. dam held and the quake caused damage worth $ 35 billion ruined lives were utterly surprised for. Of XI ( Extreme ) such faults, which are unknown but can produce quakes! Fernando earthquake occurred in 1994 downtown, caused the 6.6 magnitude 1971 San Fernando Valley red... Would have been weightless for a few seconds, like astronauts in space Ms scale, and a maximum intensity... Our feet: a Hundred years of Earthquakes in Los Angeles earthquake over. Give the question a second thought quake lasted technically for 12 seconds it... Area may be active today than are now recognized. had crumbled their records they were utterly 1971 san fernando earthquake facts...