Notable Earthquake of the Week

Northridge M 6.7 Earthquake, January 17, 1994

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It was still dark that morning when the M 6.7 earthquake struck in San Fernando Valley at 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994. The powerful initial jolt sent objects flying through the air and the intense shaking that followed caused furniture to dance around rooms, windows to shatter and concrete overpass abutments to burst.
The earthquake triggered at a depth of 18.4 km along the south-dipping Oak Ridge fault, a segment of the much broader Northridge thrust fault system. Recent subsurface geophysical imagery suggests the rupture plane may have come to 1.5 km of the surface before finally coming to rest in "suspended tectonic animation".
The intense aftershock sequence lasted for years and included +14,000 events, including ten M 5.0s – the largest of which registered M 5.9 and occurred 1 minute after the main jolt. A total of 57 people were killed and combined economic loss from the temblor was $20-40 billion.
This quake clearly showed that even a temblor in the mid M6 range can cause substantial damage and injury if located in an urban center.

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