On January 17, 1974 Los Angeles was shaken awake by the Northridge earthquake (I heard someone on the radio excitedly referred to the “Earthridge Northquake” which devastated many homes not only in Northridge but in parts of LA that were miles from the epicenter. At my parents’ house near La Brea and Jefferson the brick chimney collapsed and fell into the driveway. Many homes were badly damaged while those on either side were untouched.
Loss of life was over sixty, and the fact that not more were killed was thanks largely to most LA homes being of wood frame construction, as opposed to Haiti or other places where most construction is stone or brick.
Compared to quakes in Japan, Haiti, New Zealand and other places now pretty much forgotten by most Americans, Northridge was not much, but to those of us who experienced it, and especially those who had never lived through a major quake before, it was an unforgettable experience.