1994 Northridge, CA Quake
The 6.7 Magnitude Northridge Earthquake struck early in the early morning of January 17, 1994 at 4:31 AM. The Epicenter was in Northridge, California, a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. This same general area had been hit by a 6.6 Magnitude quake in 1971. It was one of the most expensive natural disasters in US history, with total damage estimated at $15 billion. The death toll of 57 and 1500 serious injuries is considered low for a quake of this size in a heavily populated area. This was one of the best prepared areas in the world. Most people were safe in their beds at the time of the quke, reducing the casualties. Earthquake awareness in California was high following the 1971 San Fernando quake in this same area and the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in northern California. Building codes required earthquake resistant designs that prevented outright collapse in almost all cases.