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On its 25th anniversary, looking back at the Northridge quake and preparing for The Big One




A picture taken on January 19, 1994 in Los Angeles, California, shows a bulldozer tearing down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway that collapsed during the Northridge earthquake.
A picture taken on January 19, 1994 in Los Angeles, California, shows a bulldozer tearing down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway that collapsed during the Northridge earthquake.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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It was a shocking rumble that struck just before dawn in January of 1994.

The 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake cost $25 billion in damages, 57 people were killed and thousands were injured. The shaking was felt as far away as Las Vegas, and left a tragic scene at the apartment complex, Northridge Meadows, which had 163 units. 16 people at the complex were killed.

For Angelenos who remember the quake, you may have had to sleep outside with other apartment tenants for a while after that day, just as a safety precaution. Or maybe your house split right down the middle. As we look back on the effects of Northridge, the big question is: What did we learn? And are we better prepared for The Big One, a quake that would make Northridge look like an aftershock in comparison?

Even if you haven’t been thinking about earthquakes much lately, KPCC’s Jacob Margolis and Misha Euceph are here to prepare you. They’re the host and lead producer, respectively, of KPCC’s podcast, “The Big One: Your Survival Guide.”

Larry speaks with Jacob and Misha about what went wrong during Northridge, and how we’re gearing up for future quakes.

Guests:

Jacob Margolis, KPCC’s science reporter, and host of its new podcast “The Big One”; he tweets @jacobmargolis

Misha Euceph, lead producer of KPCC’s “The Big One”; she tweets @MishaEuceph